Last Things for August 2014

Helping Wounded, Shot by Sniper

The Allies’ invasion of Normandy in 1944 was the beginning of the end of the Second World War. Thousands were killed, one priest among them, a chaplain in the United States Army.

Conventual Franciscan Father Ignatius Materkowski had been born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1912, and was ordained in 1938. Parachuting into Normandy with his unit, he immediately searched for a building to be used as a hospital, concerned about the many wounded soldiers. Moving beyond secured areas, he removed his helmet, displayed his chaplain’s insignia and a Red Cross badge, but a German sniper shot him in the back.

New Orleans Jesuit Finds Guidance in ‘Spiritual ’Exercises’

Jesuit Father Raymond Fitzgerald, ordained in 1991, president of Jesuit High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, noticed a while ago weakening in some of his muscles. After many studies, doctors diagnosed Lou Gehrig’s disease, with no cure.

Announcing his condition to the school last winter, he said that he had found guidance in the “Spiritual Exercises” of St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, and specifically in the saint’s emphasis on faith. Father Fitzgerald believes that he has been called to praise, reverence and serve God.

The Assumption

According to legend, in A.D. 451, the Byzantine emperor asked if relics of the Virgin Mary could be brought to Constantinople. The bishop of Jerusalem replied that no relics existed as she had died in the presence of the Apostles who believed that her body then was taken, literally, into heaven with her soul. Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption in 1950.

Fifty Years Ago

In 1964, The Priest had an article about increasing moral liberalism in Catholic college courses. Another centered on the criteria to be used in approving priesthood candidates. The Priest announced poll results of its priest-readers. They preferred the vernacular breviary — 93.3% over Latin.

‘Go in Peace’

He who is mighty has done great things for me. — Luke 1:49