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Catholic Connection of November 11th

Nov 12

Written by:
11/12/2017 12:00 AM  RssIcon

November 11 is a particular day for many due to significant historical events happening on this day, in particular 1918 when World War I officially came to a close. Commemorated with a holiday the following year, Armistice Day (which became Veteran’s Day in 1954) continues to honor those who served time with the United States Armed Forces, both living and dead.

There is a Catholic connection, of course, as November 11 is also the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, who is the patron saint of soldiers and those in the military, because he himself was a soldier in the Roman Army prior to his conversion to the Catholic faith and his election as Bishop of Tours, France, in the 300s.

It is a good thing that we honor and celebrate those who served our country in both times of war and in times of peace; for they make a lasting impact in so many ways, and so many blessings that we enjoy are a direct result of the service that they have done for our country.

Personally, I am blessed to count many veterans among both my friends and family members. My paternal grandfather was a Marine in the Pacific Theater during World War II. An uncle is the only surviving member of his squad from the Vietnam War. (He was injured and removed from the front; a day later, his entire unit was overrun by enemy forces.) Many friends include those who served as Officers and Enlisted; and the priest I lived with prior to coming here served for three years as a chaplain to the Army.

To spend time with former officers is to spend time learning about leadership and command. To spend time with enlisted men and women is to learn about self-sacrifice and honor, the importance of obedience and awareness of the person next to you. To spend time with chaplains is to see God at work the hearts and minds of young adults as they wrestle with some of life’s biggest questions. In short, to spend any time with a veteran is to learn and to grow.

There are so many slogans and ideas floating around today about what truly inspires, what truly makes a person or a nation remarkable. As we approach Veteran’s Day and all the great Church Holy Days that are celebrated in November, I can’t help but offer that what inspires greatness is not brash speech nor crass use of a bully pulpit; it is the quiet confidence in serving something greater, it is the support and awareness that to succeed individually, we must succeed as a team, it is the recognition of grace active and present throughout our pilgrimage of life.

And it is, most of all, the recognition of who owes our greater allegiance. We end November with the Feast of Our Lord, Christ the King of the Universe. He is the one who leads us to greater freedom and peace, He is the only source of true and lasting peace, after all! Our veterans had a recognition and give us a reminder of being part of something greater than just the self; there is no greater adventure than living life to its fullness in Jesus Christ, Our Lord. I pray that veterans’ example of selfless service to our country inspires all of us to a greater service to our Church as well.

God Bless
Fr. Kyle Schnippel

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