DI AN, RVN, (1st INF DIV IO) Nov. 16, 1966- It was a short ride from Soui Da to the battle area, but the fighting was so intense on November 8th that the Dust Off chopper was forced to circle the "clearing" for more than an hour. "When we finally went in," the pilot remembered, "we were being fired at from three sides. I don't know how we ever got out. But Father jumped out and helped load on the first wounded. I never saw him again."
Dec. 7, 1941 dawned as a beautiful, tranquil day - complete with blue skies and sunshine - at Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i. But soon after the morning had begun, Japanese zeroes blackened the skies over Oahu and bombs rained down on the Navy’s ships in the harbor. Through the death and destruction and utter chaos that ensued, two dedicated Navy chaplains ministered to the Sailors aboard their ships until the end.
The recent death of Francis L. Sampson has removed from the scene one of the best known Army chaplains of the twentieth century. Like Chaplain Francis Duffy in World War I and Chaplain Emil Kapaun in the Korean War, Chaplain Sampson’s career as a Catholic priest and Army chaplain has an almost a mythical quality about it.
It began almost fifty-five years ago when as a young, newly ordained priest, Father Francis L. Sampson received permission from his bishop, the Most Reverend Gerald T. Bergan, of Des Moines, Iowa, to enter the United States Army as a chaplain.
In the middle of the battle area, Father Kapaun said Mass on the hood of a Jeep; the Blessed Sacrament was reserved on his own body. His letters home reflected the gratitude for the prayers of his people; his award of the bronze star was only mentioned modestly under general remarks in his monthly report to the bishop.
Cardinal Archbishop Terence J. Cooke (1921-83) was born in New York City on Mar. 1, 1921, the youngest of three children of Michael and Margaret Gannon Cooke, who were both natives of County Galway, Ireland. He was named after Terence MacSwiney, the nationalist Lord Mayor of Cork who had died six weeks earlier from his celebrated hunger strike protesting British occupation policies in Ireland. When he was five years old from the Morningside Heights of Manhattan to the northeast Bronx where he attended St. Benedict's parochial school.
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You have a great responsibility. People serving in the military have to be ready mentally, physically, and spiritually. That's one-third of it right there. And if that's missing, I see catastrophe. It's a very rigorous responsibility taking care of the spiritual part of it. And actively taking care of it.
--Maj Gen. James J. McMonagle
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