Military Chaplain: Understand Enemy

Father Christopher Butera, of the Diocese of Allentown, ordained in 2007, is one of the many priests currently serving, or who over the years have served, as an American military chaplain.

Presently assigned to Afghanistan, Father Butera celebrates Mass and administers the Sacraments for Catholic troops. Another important function, he recently was quoted by Catholic News Service as saying, is to help the soldiers in his pastoral care to understand their enemies who primarily are Muslims.

While chiefly attending Catholics, he has a responsibility to all the men and women in his unit, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Notre Dame Priest was Adviser to JFK

Holy Cross Father John J. Cavanaugh, born in Ireland in 1899, reared in Owosso, Mich., ordained in 1931, president of the University of Notre Dame from 1946 to 1952, was long a friend of, and adviser to, President John F. Kennedy and President Kennedy’s family.

As early as 1958, prior to the 1960 election, he began to counsel the then possible candidate, U. S. Senator John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.), about how to answer questions regarding Catholicism and public service.

Father Cavanaugh died in 1979. Notre Dame confers The Father John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Award for public service in his honor.

Dia de los Muertos

In Puerto Rico, crowds gather in cemeteries on All Souls’ Day. Many bring flowers. The priest arrives. The crowd follows him from grave to grave as he blesses each grave and prays for the deceased. The ritual may last all day.

Fifty Years Ago

In November 1963, an article in The Priest reported on the severe persecution of the Church in what then was Czechoslovakia. Another article hailed the saintliness and heroic deeds of Father, now Saint, Damien de Veuster, SS.CC., in Hawaii. An Australian priest suggested that the Church institute a Feast of Christ the Priest. A Port Chester, N.Y., advertiser offered two short-sleeve clergy shirts for $10.95.

‘Go In Peace’

“Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord.”