Remember all who served on Veteran's Day
By Hugh McNichol
Today is the birthday of the United States Marine Corps. November 11 is observed as Veteran's Day in the United States. As we commemorate both days...we need to recall the sacrifices made for our religious freedom by all that served in the military, as well as all Catholic chaplains that have served since the American Revolution.
The first Catholic chaplain of the United States military was a Canadian priest, the Reverend Louis Eustace Lotbiniere. Over sixty years of age and a priest of the Diocese of Quebec when Canada was invaded by Generals Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery, he endorsed the American cause at great financial loss. Although he and the members of the two Canadian regiments raised for the American Army suffered excommunication by Bishop Briand, he served throughout the entire war. After the war he lived in Philadelphia in poverty, dying in l786 at the age of seventy-one years. Since Father Lotbiniere many priests have choosen to call the military their parish.
Since the Revolutionary War, American Catholic chaplains have accompanied our troops throughout the world. Places like Iwo Jima, VietNam and Kuwait are just a few that recall their valor and faith.
As we celebrate the foundations of the Marine Corps and remember those that faithfully served, Catholic chaplains deserve a special mention.
No matter where the conflict, no matter the personal danger they brought Sacraments to men when they were most needed.
Father Lotbiniere died in Philadelphia in poverty, but his legacy provides uncounted wealth and spiritual rewards. These men not only helped secure our right to worship freely, they bring Christ to a world of fragile peace and broken promises.
http://www.trinettc.com DE, US
Hugh McNichol - author, 302 6339348
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