Shepherd in Combat Boots: A Conversation With Father Kapaun’s POW Friend

Father Kapaun celebrating Mass on a Jeep

Father Emil Kapaun, U.S. military chaplain during the Korean War, was captured on November 2, 1950.Two days later and twenty miles away, Lieutenant Bill Funchess was captured by the Chinese Communist Forces and taken to a prison camp, where he was thrown into a 9-by-9-foot thatched roof mud shack.  There, lying in the cold on a dirt floor, were eleven seriously wounded enlisted men.Emil Kapaun, a Catholic priest, died in that camp; his fellow soldier Bill Funchess, a Methodist, became … [Read more...]

Pearl S. Buck and the Importance of a Father’s Love

Pearl Buck

Happy Birthday, Pearl Buck!Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was an American writer born of missionary parents. She was born on June 26, 1892, and until 1934 she lived mainly in China, where she was also called by her Chinese name Sai Zhenzhu (written in Chinese: 賽珍珠; pinyin: Sài Zhēnzhū).Buck was passionate about social issues ranging from women’s rights to adoption, and especially to the plight of babies of Asian women left behind when American soldiers returned to the U.S. following their tour … [Read more...]

A Man for All Seasons: Sir Thomas More, Statesman, Martyr, and Devoted Father

During this Fortnight for Freedom, I reflect on one of the great saints whose commitment to the Church and to religious liberty is an inspiration to us today. *     *     *     * Sir Thomas More was a man with a bright future.  A successful statesman and a loving husband and father, More was Chancellor in the Court of King Henry VIII, one of the king’s most trusted ministers.But then came Anne Boleyn.At the time, King Henry was married to Catherine of Aragon—a marriage which Pope Clemen … [Read more...]