Our Padre The Inspiring Life and Stories of Fr. Kilian Dreiling, C.PP.S., WWII Army Chaplain
Thisinspiring book about Catholic Army Chaplain Fr. Kilian Dreilingincludes first-hand accounts of General Douglas MacArthur’s PacificCampaign through the eyes of army chaplain Major Kilian Dreiling.Powerful short stories of courage and self-sacrifice, written by Fr.Kilian, are blended into this biography as they occurred throughout hislife. Combining wisdom and wit with a deeply spiritual perspective,these stories are both inspiring and entertaining. An overriding themeis how Fr. Kilian’s own heroism and selfless leadership helps instillcourage and faith in the impressionable young soldiers to whom heministers, endearing him to thousands.
Studentsof history will appreciate the attention to detail as Fr. Kilian’sunit, the famous 92nd Evac. Hospital (who journeyed behind enemy linesin order to treat the survivors of the “Bataan Death March” after theirdaring rescue by the 6th U.S. Rangers), overcomes tremendous obstaclesand hardships to provide first-rate care to thousands of wounded anddying soldiers.
Author Joseph S. Smith, whose father was amember of the 92nd, utilizes many first-hand accounts from WWIIveterans, friends and parishioners to fill in the canvas of Fr.Kilian’s rich and remarkable life, which spanned 90 years.
Inone poignant scene, during the bloody battle for Biak Island in NewGuinea, Fr. Kilian is awakened by the whispers of his assistants, whoare trying to decide whether to wake him or to leave him to more,much-needed sleep. The dilemma is caused by the fact that Fr. Kilian,exhausted from his near-continuous efforts to prepare the steady streamof G.I. bodies for burial, had fallen asleep with his head nestledpeacefully on the chest of one of the dead soldiers. By this time, Fr.Kilian had accepted this situation as entirely normal. He laterconfesses how this experience helped him overcome his own fear of deadbodies, replacing it with what he calls a “love for the dead.”
“OurPadre” sheds new light on the important yet often-overlooked role ofthe military chaplain during war time. It also demonstrates powerfully,how one man of principle, conviction and faith can serve as a beacon ofhope and a pillar of strength to thousands of others. “Our Padre” isthe story of an American Catholic Hero and a great patriot.
Books may be purchased by visiting OurPadre.com.