Military chaplain’s beatification cause progresses

Fr Emil Kapaun

A beatification cause similar to that of Fr Doyle’s is making excellent progress and the documentation has just been sent to Rome.

Fr Emil Kapaun was a chaplain in the Korean War. Like Fr Doyle, he risked his life to save wounded soldiers and to bring the sacraments to them. Just like Fr Doyle, this initiative cost him his life. As a result of his dedication he was captured by the Korean and Chinese Communists and died in a prison camp.

A link to the full story can be found here:

Two quotes stand out from this story. Fr John Hotze, the episcopal delegate looking after the cause expressed the tremendous gratitude he and others felt at the example of Fr Kapaun:

The fact that we, unlike any other diocese in the United States, in the world, have been blessed by the example of this saintly man, Father Emil Kapaun, boggles my mind. How can we do anything less than give praise to God for this gift and strive to follow the example of Father Kapaun’s selfless giving.

The writer of the story also comments:

The (postulator) said Kapaun’s candidacy is unique compared with the hundreds of other cases he has investigated because it is so full of action and detailed. While most cases involve “very holy” priests and nuns who have miracles attributed to them, Fr. Kapaun’s story involves far more deeds of heroism, sacrifice and action.

Both of these comments could also very easily apply to Fr Doyle.

We continue to pray that the day may come when Fr Doyle’s holiness and sacrifice are more widely recognised.

Thoughts for July 6 from Fr Willie Doyle

St Maria Goretti

As a boy He gave me something of the kind, so that a passing glance at an immodest picture used to make me shudder; and until I began my theology at 31 I was quite ignorant of most sexual matters. That was His goodness, not mine.

COMMENT: Today is the feast of St Maria Goretti, the great champion of purity. She preferred death (at age 12) to committing a sexual sin, and as such her intercession is often sought by those with struggles in this area.

Fr Doyle seems to have had an unusual purity. In addition to the above quote, here is the testimony of a fellow Jesuit on the issue of Fr Doyle’s purity:

I knew from many talks with him on the subject that Willie found it hard to realise the difficulties of those struggling with impurity and the awful fascination of this sin, just as those who have never taken strong drink fail to appreciate the difficulties and temptations of the drunkard.

This does not mean that Fr Doyle was never subject to temptations, but rather that through God’s grace his major temptations related to others aspects of the moral life.

It is fascinating for us to consider that a normal, well adjusted young man 100 years ago could be largely unaware of sexual matters until his thirties. But then again, we live in an impure age, and we have largely lost the happy innocence of times past. Just as the fish does not know that it swims in water, so often we fail to realise how sexually corrupt our own age is. Of course, there has always been sexual corruption in the world, but rarely has it been so normalised and glamourised and publicised and rarely have people been urged to take pride in it as we are today. We also see the awful effects of this sexual corruption within the Church, and the dreadful legacy of wounded lives and shattered credibility left in its wake.

The words of St Josemaria Escriva on purity are relevant for us to consider today:

Never speak of impure things or events, not even to lament them. Remember that such matter is stickier than pitch. Change the subject or, if that is not possible, continue with it, speaking of the need and the beauty of purity — a virtue of men who know the value of their souls.

Let us pray today for a share in the purity and innocence of both St Maria Goretti and of Fr Doyle for ourselves and also especially for our priests.