A Catholic Priest saved "Private Ryan"

The movie was fiction. However, it paralleled the true story of Frederick “Fritz” Niland, one of four brothers - two that were killed and a third who was lost and presumed killed in action during world war II. That lost brother was actually in a Japanese prison camp and returned home at the end of the war. Military Chaplain Fr. Francis Sampson, a hero in his own right, parachuted behind German lines on D-Day. He later encountered Sgt. Niland and started the process which took the Sergeant out of combat as a presumed sole surviving brother.

Father Sampson, pray for us!


I don’t rely on “Hollywood” for the accuracy of the war movies they portrayed on the big screen. They are purely fiction and good for the entertainment they provide to the audience.

I retired from the Marine Corps after 32 years of service and I don’t waste my time watching war movies made by Hollywood about Desert Storm, “Operation Enduring Freedom” - Afghanistan, OIF “Operation Iraqi Freedom” or of any other recent involvement of US Forces around the world, for example Somalia. What Hollywood portrays do not come close to anything I have seen and experienced during my 32 years of service or in combat. For accuracy, nothing beats reading a war history book or watching a documentary.

Thank you, for bringing up the story of this real true hero, Military Chaplain Fr. Francis Sampson. Real true heroes are hardly ever seen or noticed. He knew the risks, he knew what had to be done, and he carried out and accomplished his mission. He didn’t do it for fame or glory and If you would have ask him he would have told you “I was doing my duty”.

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Amen! Thank you for your service. Our former parish Priest posted Fr. Sampson’s war-time homily, as well as the link to his story. Some years ago, I made the decision to disconnect from the media. Since then, I am much happier. Media productions are made almost exclusively by those with some form of leftist political and/or anti-religious agenda. Why should I pay someone else to enrage or insult me, when I can get that right here for free?

Along with Monsignor O’Flaherty and Fr. Capodanno there were many silent clergy heroes during WWII and in Viet Nam - in each and every war, actually. Oddly enough, the 1983 made-for-TV movie The Scarlet and the Black, rather honestly showed some of Monsignor O’Flaherty’s war-time heroism, and helped put the lie to the myth of “Hitler’s Pope.”

The stories of Catholic chaplains in wwi, ii, korea, and vietnam are always amazing and inspiring. Holy men of God, ora pro nobis!

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For anyone that may have missed it, there is a great film about Fr. Vincent Capodanno that was on EWTN. He died while a Chaplain with the Navy during Viet Nam. What a powerful story of a very holy priest. “Called and Chosen” is the name of the film.

For more information, or to get a copy of the DVD. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thanks you! My pleasure.it was an honor and a pleasure to serve our nation. Thank you for your support :sunglasses:

I would like to mention Catholic Priest Father John P. Washington, who was one of the four US Army chaplains, also known as the “Four Chaplains” or “The Inmortals Chaplains”. They gave their lives to save the lives of civilian and military personnel as the troop ship SS Dorchester sank on February 3, 1943, (at 12:55 a.m. a torpedo from an Uboat rocked the vessel) during WWII. They helped other soldiers board the lifeboats and even gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. The chaplains joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.

A Stamp commemorate their lives

Catholic Priest Father John P. Washington is the one wearing glasses.

A 60-minute TV documentary The Four Chaplains: Sacrifice at Sea was produced in 2004. See Below

There are a few book written about them, like: No Greater Glory: The Four Immortal Chaplains and the Sinking of the Dorchester in World War II, written by Dan Kurzman.

In 1988, February 3 was established by a unanimous act of Congress as an annual “Four Chaplains Day.”

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Semper Fi. I am a retired Navy Corpsman and I agree with you 110%.

Semper Fortis! Or do you prefer, Go Navy!

“Corpsman UP!” works for me. :grin:

Don’t forget Fr Willy Doyle. :slight_smile:

Wilco. :+1: It makes a lot of sense too.

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