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The Observer
Rockford, Illinois
October 6, 1961     The Observer
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October 6, 1961

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PAGE I0 THEOBSERVER "I WILL GO UNTO THE ALTAR OF GOD"NA day in the life of an Air Force chaplain naturally begins with the Holy Sacrifice of Mass. The usual base chapel is used by chaplains of all faiths and it is necessary to remove all statues, crucifixes, and other Catholic objects after Mass and devotions. Here Father McGowan makes his thanksgiving after Mass before removing the Blessed Sacrament. "I've got the blues . . . The Air Force blues . . . " That is the wa~, the Rev. John J. McGowan, a parish priest from the Rockford diocese now serv- ing in the Air Force with the rank of captain, describes his life. A native of Chicago, Father Mc- Gowan has been wearing the Air Force blue for six years. During that time he has seen duty at Sondrestrom air base in Green- land, Stewart air base near New York, and Sco~t air base in Belleville, Ill. He is presently sta- tioned at an air base in Bent- it clear that it is an exciting and happy life. As Father McGowan puts it: "It was a happy day for me when I put on my first Air Force uni- form. I had visions of adventure ahead and I must say that I have not been disappointed. Every day offers new opportunities for widen- ing priestly opportunities. "We literally cover the earth 'and sometimes our altars are set up in magnificent chapels and other times on a table top in the recreation room of some isolated radar station. We may move from a comfortable 'rectory' on a state- waters-Woodbridge, England. side base to a tin-roofed shack at Prior to his entrance into mill- i some remote end of the woi'ld. tary service Father McGowanl OUR LADY OF LORETTO --- Tl~is aluminum plaque, two feet But no matter where we are sta- served as assistant pastor at St. long and one foot high, dedicated to the partoness of avia- tinned we have a grand opportuni- Patrick parish in McHenry. tors and travelers was especially designed for the Blessed Sacra- ty to bring God to man and man In writing to THE OBSERVER, ment room at Scott air base i'n Belleville, IlL fOrGed every day of our military WO ---- ' McGowan em haslzes t - ' Fatnh~e~r ~ho need for DP~iests in the life which is best displayed 5y the Air Force is responsible for 2,336 { A brief look into this "teeming a~ed forces and hi;love for the accomplishment of the chaplains Catholics. activity and frui.tfu! li!e" of !,he He ' T 1 Air Force cnapiam Is given m me work which he has undertaken, in so many Air Force parishes' " hose stat'stics, he says, are notes: "A priest cannot, spendlthroughout the world." quoted to show that the workload bPy Fg(:::SM :GomwlSaPatgt~r:u~PP'~e that much time ~ixay~i?(1s, ot~ tt~:l He stresses the need for military of the priest in the Air Force is I technical skill of Lloyd Borguss,-. ~r F~cehw~ll ff That ~nlr't n Icha lains in noting that at the an impressively heavy one " At!whose work is hereby ack- ~ ~ ~ L f ~ P " teeming activity and a fruitfullpresent time one priest in the the sametime, however, hemakes]nowledged. THE WORK OF THE LORD--All departments and facilities of -the Air Force are available to a chaplain. Here T/Sgt. Ralph Mc- Atee of the graphics section shows Father his'design for a bulletin for the 'parish' Cana conference, one of the many 'parish' activi- ties for which an Air Force chaplain is responsible, activities not notably different from those of the average civilian parish. DISPLAYING MONSTRANCE AND LUNULA--A good parish program has organizations for chil- dren as well as adults. This group of seventh and eighth grade girls of the St. Marie Goretti society meet with Father very other Saturday. Father's work also includes instruction classes for adults, meetings with the Holy Name society, Ore" Lady of Fatima society and the Knights of the Altar and Days of Recollection. "WELL, IT'S LIKE THIS FATHER "--Religious services, parochial activities, and the Sacraments take up a major part of Father's time, but there is always a g.od deal of counseling to be done too. A LITTLE TIME FOR RELAXATION--Even the hardiest of men needs some time for recreation and Father McGowan takes his leisure on the golf course ~vhenever possible. The form is good Father says, but he still spends most of his time in-the sand traps and the rough. Nevertheless, the 8 open air and sun are just what the doctor ordered, in the sand traps an dthe rough. Neverthless, the ALL THINGS TO ALL MEN--Scott Air Force base is one of the tubercular centers for the Air Force. While stationed there, Father McGowan found that examples set by Catholic TB pa- tients in receiving the Sacraments and attending the weekly Mass in the TB ward impressed many of the non-Catholic patients. Here Father looks on as one of the Catholic patients helps a young Japanese wife of an Air Force man prepare for Baptism. IT'S A GOOD SIZE PARISH--with good size families. Part of Father's time is spent visiting such families as the Francis Mc- Gough's. Captain McGough recently received the Holy Father's Benemerenti medal for his work in the military parish at Scott Air Force base. These visits are especially important because vocations, which are numerous in the Air Force, come from the young airmen in service and the children of military families. Seven young men from the base-have entered' the prep seminary in the last three years. These vocations are, of course, important to the church as a whole, but they mean even more to the military chaplain who is faced with the fact that there are only 321 priests to serve the 750,000 Catholics in the Air Force. This makes each priest responsible for-2,336 Catholics. CONSTANTLY ON THE MO~but Father finds there is always time to stop and chat, and with good reason, because the frequent change of status of military personnel makes this type of contact with the men more important than in civilian parishs. Other duties keeping Father on the move inolude regularly scheduled visits to the guardhouse, orientation lectures to new personnel and the conducting of leadership programs. THE FIVE JOYFUL MYSTERIES---Here Father McGowan is shown as he joins one of his five Block Rosary groups on the base. As can be seen, the duties of an Air Force priest are not notably different from those of the average civilian priest. However, an Air Force chaplain does assume some new duties and responsibilities. He also receives opportunities for training and advancement. These include a five-week chaplain school and additional training in a Staff Chaplains' course. The Air Force priest advances in grade and pay the same as any officer. He is also entitled to thir- ty days leave each year in addition to 15 more days to attend religious conventions and to make kis annual retreat. RENDER TO CAESAR--Even in an Air Force parish money is a neeessary i[em with Sunday collections being used to purchase necessary Catholic supplies for the military parish. Air Fqrce regulations require monthly statements of income and expendi- tures. Here Father McGowan is shown checking the books he- fore his airman assistant makes up the month's statement. Not a pleasant task, perhaps, but an important one. NOW I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP--At the end of a long and fruitful day Father McGowan takes a few quiet moments in his room to finish his office before retiring for the night. This is the life of an Air Force Chaplain. In the words of Father McGowan: "The Air Force recognizes that its members live in two worlds at one and the same time, the material and the spiritual. The chali- lains service was organized to help military personnel to achieve spiritual and moral goals. It is a great work and one in which all chaplains take pride. The Air Force of the future will demand dedicated men to defend the liberties of the Free World; it will likewise demand dedicated ehap- lains to help them fulfil their destiny." FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1961 alns In CHICAGO--A rewarding career as an Army chaplain is being opened to many young men as a result of the Army's recently announced build-up plans. With thousands of men being called to active duty through increased draft quotas and activation of re- serve units, the Army's need for chaplains has also increased. Immediate Need The Army Chief of Chaplains, Major General Frank A. Tobey, said that there is an immediate need for Chaplains of the Roman Catholic, Jewish and faiths. "Chaplains are volunteers. This has always been a major element in the esprit of the chaplaincy," Chaplain Tobey said. "Our first effort therefore is to issue this call for volunteers. The clergy of the nation have always responded in the hour of need, and we feel confident they will do so again." Qualifications Prospective chaplains must be graduates of an accredited theo- logical seminary and mu~t have the approval and endorsement of their religious superiors, as welI as having been duly ordained. Thirty-three is the maximum age, but qualified candidates to the age of 40 will be considered. Fol~bwing a nine week orienta- tion course at the chaplain school at Fort Slocum, N.Y Army chaplains are commissioned first lieutenants. The office of the Fifth Army Chaplain, 1660 East Hyde Park Boulevard, Chicago 15, Ill cordially invites interested per- sons to call or write for further information. Topic For Aurora Club AUROR& -- The Rt. Rev. Msgr. William F. Donavan, pastor of Holy Cross parish in Batavia, will discuss "The Present Situation in Catholic Education" at the reg- ular meeting of the local Serra club in the Terrace room of the Leland hotel today. At the last meeting of the club, I Dr. Robert E. Barnes of Auror~ffi who returned recently from a v~ to various parts of Russia, spol=Y. on "Religion and Atheism in the Soviet Union." Atheism Limited Dr. Barnes noted that although the successes of the Communist government in the USSR in re- cent years has strengthened the Soviet citizens confidence in~ the Communist party, the dogma d militant atheism is still not whole- heartedly accepted. He reported, that religion in rural, agricultural areas is widely practiced, but even in the heavily Communist populated cities of Moscow and Leningrad, many Russian Orthodox churches are open "working" churches. Congregations Older Roman Catholics have a "work- ing" church in Moscow and Lenin- grad, he said, but, as elsewhere, the congregations are mainly old- er wome~ because Communist control of'economic and educa' tional Opportunities makes re- ligion a luxury ill-afforded by the younger citizens. Dr. Barnes' overall impression was that older citizens who had lived through the wars, were less militantly atheistic than the more recent generation of Soviet citi- zens who have been exposed only to 4he material successes of Com- munism. Catholic Veterans To Honor Howlett For Decency Fight CHICAGO--Michael J. Howlett, state auditor of public accounts, will be honored at a dinner in the Pick-Congress hotel here, Wedi~es- day, Oct. 11, by the Catholic War Veterans of Illinois for his lead- ership in the fight against inde- cent literature. Main speaker for the occasion will be Albert J. Schwind of C~ ton, N. J national commande~ the Catholic War Veterans of th* United States. Attending the dinner will be Lt. Gov. Samuel H. Shapiro, Atty. Gen. Williatn G. Clark, the Rev. Paul Hoban, director of the So- ciety of the Little Flower and the Rt. Rev. Msgrl Thomas J. Fitz- gerald. Funds raised at the dinner will be used by the veterans for their own fight against pornography Chairman for the diune~ is Judge Francis Poynton. Hold Festival FREEPORT -- The parishion- ers of St. Joseph church will hava a two-day festival Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 14. and Oct. 15. The festival will open Saturday night in the parish gymnasium, and will be held both Sunday after- noon and evening.