Our Padre The Inspiring Life and Stories of Fr. Kilian Dreiling, C.PP.S., WWII Army Chaplain
This inspiring book about Catholic Army Chaplain Fr. Kilian Dreiling includes first-hand accounts of General Douglas MacArthur’s Pacific Campaign 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 his life. Combining wisdom and wit with a deeply spiritual perspective, these stories are both inspiring and entertaining. An overriding theme is how Fr. Kilian’s own heroism and selfless leadership helps instill courage and faith in the impressionable young soldiers to whom he ministers, endearing him to thousands.
Our Padre Book CoverStudents of history will appreciate the attention to detail as Fr. Kilian’s unit, the famous 92nd Evac. Hospital (who journeyed behind enemy lines in order to treat the survivors of the “Bataan Death March” after their daring rescue by the 6th U.S. Rangers), overcomes tremendous obstacles and hardships to provide first-rate care to thousands of wounded and dying soldiers.
Author Joseph S. Smith, whose father was a member of the 92nd, utilizes many first-hand accounts from WWII veterans, friends and parishioners to fill in the canvas of Fr. Kilian’s rich and remarkable life, which spanned 90 years.
In one poignant scene, during the bloody battle for Biak Island in New Guinea, Fr. Kilian is awakened by the whispers of his assistants, who are 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 stream of G.I. bodies for burial, had fallen asleep with his head nestled peacefully on the chest of one of the dead soldiers. By this time, Fr. Kilian had accepted this situation as entirely normal. He later confesses how this experience helped him overcome his own fear of dead bodies, replacing it with what he calls a “love for the dead.”
“Our Padre” sheds new light on the important yet often-overlooked role of the military chaplain during war time. It also demonstrates powerfully, how one man of principle, conviction and faith can serve as a beacon of hope and a pillar of strength to thousands of others. “Our Padre” is the story of an American Catholic Hero and a great patriot.
Books may be purchased by visiting OurPadre.com or by sending a check for $20 (for each book: includes postage and handling) to:
Joseph S. Smith
P.O. Box 180573
Delafield, WI 53018