Donald R. McClarey

August 31, 1864: Death Comes For Father Emery

    Destiny attended Emmeran Bliemel at his birth on the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, patron saint of soldiers, in 1831 in Bavaria.  From his early boyhood his burning desire was to be a missionary to German Catholics

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Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: A Priest Born on Flag Day

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from August 6, 2012.) One of the most highly decorated chaplains of World War II, Father

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Donald R. McClarey

April 24, 1945: Death of Father Cyclone

  Larry Lynch was born, the first of 12 kids in his family, in the City Line neighborhood of Brooklyn on October 17, 1906.  He grew up on some pretty tough streets while also serving as an altar boy at

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Chesty Puller and Catholic Chaplains

(I first ran this back in 2011.  It has proven to be one of the most popular posts I have written for TAC.  Time to run it again.)     Some men become legends after their deaths and others become

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Sunday in Paradise

  Lieutenant j.g. Aloysius Schmitt had just finished morning mass aboard the USS Oklahoma.  Acting chaplain of the Okie, a Sunday meant a busy day for him, a relaxed day for almost everyone else on board the ship.  Since they

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Padre of Guadalcanal

    (This is a post I did in 2009.  It seemed appropriate to repost it today in tandem with my Halsey post.  Father Gehring pray for us that we may have the courage to face our challenges in life

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My Place Is With Them

      The video above depicts Father Michael Quealy saying Mass in Vietnam. The video has no sound, but without words we can see the fervor with which the priest is saying Mass.  That was all Father Quealy.  Whatever he

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April 24, 1945: Death of Father Cyclone

  Larry Lynch was born, the first of 12 kids in his family, in the City Line neighborhood of Brooklyn on October 17, 1906.  He grew up on some pretty tough streets while also serving as an altar boy at

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August 31, 1864: Death Comes For Father Emery

  Destiny attended Emmeran Bliemel at his birth on the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, patron saint of soldiers, in 1831 in Bavaria.  From his early boyhood his burning desire was to be a missionary to German Catholics in

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Franciscan Paratrooper

For love of Him they ought to expose themselves to enemies both visible and invisible. Saint Francis of Assisi Ignatius Maternowski entered this Vale of Tears on March 28, 1912, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the son of Polish immigrants  He attended,

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Father Turgis: Preacher By Deeds, Not Words

“God give me strength for I am not a good preacher.”  Born in Marigny, France on April 12, 1813, Isidore Francois Turgis loved the classics and the Church.  He was ordained on May 31, 1846.  During the Crimean War he

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Priest of Andersonville

  I normally take great pride in being an American, but there are passages in our history which all Americans should be ashamed of.  During our Civil War in many prison camps, both North and South, POWs were treated wretchedly

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Give to Those Who Are Ready to Give Everything

  Whenever the collection for the Archdiocese for Military Services comes around, I always dig deep to give a contribution and I hope all of you do also.  As faithful readers of this blog know, I have special respect for

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Meek, Pious and Brave as a Lion

    Peter Paul Cooney was born in County Roscommin, Ireland in 1822.  He went with his family to America at the age of 5.  Raised on a farm in Monroe, Michigan.  Studying at Notre Dame it was perhaps fated

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Pow Servant of God Receives Medal of Honor

The POW Servant of God Father Emil Kapaun received the Medal of Honor on April 11, 2012.  Here is what he did to earn it. Serving as a chaplain at Fort Bliss, Father Kapaun was ordered to Japan in 1950. 

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The Dominican and the Devil Dogs

The sons of Saint Dominic have supplied many heroic military chaplains throughout their illustrious history, and one of these men was Father Paul Redmond.  Born on March 27, 1899 in New Haven, Connecticut, he served as an enlisted man in the

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The Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg

“Your soldier’s heart almost stood still as he watched those sons of Erin fearlessly rush to  their deaths. The brilliant assault on Marye’s Heights of their Irish brigade  was beyond description. We forgot they were fighting us and cheer after cheer 

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Veteran’s Day: Why We Remember

When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today Inscription on the memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Infantry Division at Kohima. World War I was a ghastly conflict with

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Angel of the Trenches

Joao Baptista DeValles was born in 1879 in Saint Miquel in the Azores.  At the age of 2 his family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts.  His first name anglicized to John, he quickly proved himself a brilliant student, eventually being fluent in

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Father John Ireland and the Fifth Minnesota

    One of the titans of the Catholic Church in the Nineteenth Century in the United States was Archbishop John Ireland, the first Archbishop of Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Future blog posts will cover his career as Archbishop.  This blog

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A Priest Born on Flag Day

One of the most highly decorated chaplains of World War II, Father Elmer W. Heindl used to joke that his decorations were simply due to him being in the wrong place at the right time.  Born on June 14, 1910 in

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Father Galveston

It is ironic that a priest who became so associated with Galveston and Texas was a Yankee!  James Martin Kirwin was born in Circleville, Ohio on July 1, 1872.  Kirwin was ordained to the priesthood on June 19, 1895.   Incardinated

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Franciscan Love

 For love of Him they ought to expose themselves to enemies both visible and invisible. Saint Francis of Assisi   Born in Louisville, Kentucky on July 17, 1913, Herman G. Felhoelter was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1939.  He served as

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Father Ranger

The men of the 5th Ranger Battalion could barely keep from laughing when they first saw their chaplain, Lieutenant Joe Lacy, a week before D-Day.  These were young men, in peak physical condition.  Father Joe Lacy was old by Ranger

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This is Still America, Isn’t It?

  In my mispent youth I wore Army green for a few years.  My main contribution to the nation’s defense was when I was discharged, but I have always retained a fondness for the Army.  Therefore I have very strong feelings

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Sunday in Paradise

    Lieutenant j.g. Aloysius Schmitt had just finished morning mass aboard the USS Oklahoma.  Acting chaplain of the Okie, a Sunday meant a busy day for him, a relaxed day for almost everyone else on board the ship.  Since

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He Outranked Stonewall

    James B. Sheeran knew many roles in his life:  husband, father, Catholic priest and soldier, and whatever his role he gave everything he had.  Born in Temple Mehill, County Longford, Ireland, in either 1814 or 1818, he emigrated to Canada

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Father Francis P. Duffy: War and Humor

“If you want an example of how you ought to worship God, go over to the 69th.  You’ll see hundreds of sturdy men kneeling on the ground hearing mass.” Father Francis P. Duffy in a letter to Cardinal Farley A

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Give Us This Day

William Thomas Cummings, pictured viewer’s left in the above photograph, is known for the phrase, “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  This is the story of the priest behind the phrase. Born in 1903 he studied at Saint Patrick’s Seminary in

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The Fighting 69th

Something for the weekend.  The Fighting 69th sung by the WolfTones. Formed in 1851, the regiment served during the Civil War as part of the Irish Brigade.  The 69th earned its “fighting” sobriquet, according to legend, when General Robert E. Lee at Fredericksburg,

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