from the Reverend Redactor

Volume 1      2014

Welcome to the first edition of "Ramblings of the Reverend Redactor." For those unfamiliar with the term, a Redactor is someone who edits, and since I am the editor of this informal newsletter, that would be me. 

As your National Chaplain, I have long felt the need to communicate more frequently, and so for those who have email addresses, I am going to try this avenue. If you do not wish to receive this newsletter, there is a blue "unsubscribe" link at the bottom. If you click that, you will be taken off this mailing list. It will NOT remove you from the CWV email list. 

In this first edition, here are the items I will be talking about:
2014 Convention thoughts
New officers
Change of Date - Spring Board meeting
New Vestments/Memorial Opportunities    
Sanctity of Life Award
Mass Cards available
The Catholic War Veterans Anthem
Looking to Las Vegas
Reflections of the Reverend Redactor
Calendar of Upcoming Events

In a perfect world, I'd like to send this out every month. On the other hand, it's NOT a perfect world, and I do not want to burden your email unless there is something to share. Our magazine comes out four times a year, but if there is anything you'd like to share with others, please feel free to send it to me. The more we know about one another and what we are doing around the country, the stronger we will become. The link to this E-Newsletter will appear on the Facebook page and on the Linked-In section, and perhaps also on the CWV web page. Please feel free to share it with others who are not members; it might interest them in joining us. 

One final note - this E-Newsletter doesn't cost the CWV anything. The Xavier Society for the Blind is letting us use their Constant Contact account to produce and distribute it. Encourage your friends and comrades to send their email addresses in to the National Office so we can more effectively reach out to our members. And if they don't have an email, encourage them to get one. You know how easy it is; help someone else get on line. 

Fr. John R. Sheehan, SJ
National Chaplain

2014 National Convention

 We had parties, 

and people at their first convention;

There were altar kits for new Posts or Posts that want to update their equipment;

 We had lunches

And a general who was a guest speaker

 We introduced the next generation of members (who celebrated his 1st birthday during the convention!)

            We remembered our missing comrades


And some found it all very tiring. 

But it was a GREAT convention, and many thanks to Ohio and Convention Chair Arminda Crawford for all the work and welcome they provided. 

(We had a photographer present for the whole convention and more pictures will be forthcoming. Keep checking the website for the latest updates. www.cwv.org)


National Commander                       James C. Finkel, Jr.

                                                        New York


National Chaplain                             Fr. John R. Sheehan, SJ

                                                        New York


1st Vice-Commander                       Arminda Crawford



2nd Vice-Commander                       Frank Kowalski

                                                        New Jersey


3rd Vice-Commander                        Marvin McFeaters 



Treasurer                                         Thomas Moran



Adjutant                                            William Wright 



Welfare Officer                                  John Hahn



Historian                                            Michael Strainic, Sr.



Judge Advocate                                 David C. Smith



Officer of the Day                              Benjamin Nunez



Directors (3 Yr.)                                 Michael Kasinskas

                                                          Joseph Raimo
                                                          New Jersey


Directors (2 Yr.)                                 George Crawford


                                                          Santiago Driscoll


Directors (1 Yr.)                                 Jerome Wagner


                                                          David Silva





National Chaplain:                            Father James Redstone     

   Brick, NJ 08724                     


National President:                          Mrs.Susan Ranno

                                                        Ansonia, CT 06401   


1st Vice President:                           Renee Rygalski

  Toledo, OH 43612                


2nd Vice President:                          Mrs.Elizabeth Kruger

   Belair, MD 21015


3rd Vice President:                           Bonnie J. Kowalski  

   Trenton, NJ 08690


Secretary:                                         Mrs.Loretta Budd

                                                          Hamden, CT  06514


Treasurer:                                         Mrs.Lorraine Satterfield

                                                          Abingdon, MD 21009


Welfare Officer:                                 Mrs. Selena Driscoll

                                                          Victoria,TX 77901     


Historian:                                           Nancy Seeley

    Ansonia, CT 06410   


Ritual Officer:                                    Geraldine Schwartz 

Pottsville,PA 17901 


Directors:       (1YR)                          Gloria Misnick

    Corning NY 14830


                         (2YR)                         Ann  McMaster  

Gettysburg, PA 17325 


                         (3YR)                         Antoinette Auriemma

                                                           Norristown, PA 19403 



Because of a conflict with the Department of Ohio convention, our ever-efficient Executive Director Dave Crum was able to change the meeting to the first weekend in May. Change your calendars!

And if you are not involved in the National Board meeting, remember that this is a good opportunity to share your concerns and complaints and ideas. Pass on your comments to one of those who DO attend, and they will share with the group whatever you want to bring forward. 

At the suggestion of Bishop Higgins, Fr. Sheehan has been working to replace and upgrade the Mass items that we use when we come together to celebrate. We have new chalices, new ciboria, new candlesticks, new cruets and new vestments. Each of the items was available as a memorial opportunity. The two chalices, one of the ciboria, the candlesticks and cruets, the red chasuble and several of the concelebration stoles have already been taken by individuals, Posts, Districts and Departments. For their support, we are very grateful.

But there is one ciborium still available (with lid), the remaining chasubles and a number of the concelebration stoles. Each item will be engraved or have a special woven tag that indicates in whose memory or honor the item was donated. 

Contact the National Office for more information about remaining items and what the donation is for each one. Several people may come together to memorialize an item, as well as any of our units. Give glory to God when we worship! 

The red chasuble has been spoken for, but the white chasuble, used for funerals and special occasions, as well as
concelebration stoles (some can be seen on the table in between the chasubles) are still available. The vestments are hand-made from Italy and are both light and very beautiful. 

Earlier this year, Commander Finkel asked the Awards Committee to investigate creating a National Pro Vita Award, like the similar award that had been given by the Department of New York in years past. The committee presented a proposal, and Bishop Higgins suggested enlarging the concept, both to more accurately reflect the concerns of the Church, and to prevent critics from using the award to further attack the Church.

The result is the Sanctity of Life Award. It will consist of a plaque to be presented to the recipient bearing the CWV logo, the name of the recipient and the description of the activity or accomplishment that merited the award. 


The award acknowledges exceptional service and/or commitment on the part of an individual and/or organization in promoting sanctity of life activities. The person or individual should be prominent nationally, or at least significant in a large region of the country, or outstanding in one specific area or activity. The activities or contribution should be above the normal range provided by others, and there should be concrete and specific instances and examples of how important the works have been in promoting the sanctity of life. Active members of the Catholic War Veterans or the Auxiliary are not eligible to receive this award. 

Nominations may be submitted directly to the Chairman of the committee by a Post, a District, a Department or an individual member of the Catholic War Veterans.  Nominations may be submitted at any time during the year, but the deadline for each year is November 1st. Since nominations need to be reviewed, no late nominations can be accepted for the following year's award. Nominations must include a detailed resume or biography of the individual or organization, with as much supporting evidence (newspaper articles, testimonial letters, etc) as possible.  The Awards Committee will present their recommendation to the National Commander for his  approval.



 The Award will be presented in conjunction with the annual "March for Life" in Washington, D.C. each January. Specific details will be arranged depending on the awardee's schedule and availability. The Awards Committee reserves the right to recommend that no Award be made for any given year.   

Many thanks to Russell Bilodeau, Chairman of the Awards Committee and his committee members for their efficiency in bringing this idea to reality. 


Please reflect on this award, and submit your nominations. This is a crucial issue for the Church, and we want to be represented in the conversation. 




Hopefully this is a reminder of something you already know, but Mass cards are available through the CWV. Instead of having Masses said by another group when a loved one dies, or to celebrate a special occasion, chaplains in the Catholic War Veterans have volunteered to say those Masses for your intentions.

Formal and informal cards are available at the National Office, and we are working to design cards that more fully reflect the 
Catholic War Veterans. Not only will this help to spread knowledge of our organization, but the stipends received for the cards can add significant income to help support our work.

Thank you for your support of this important work, and a special thanks to our Chaplains, who are volunteering to help support this special project. If there are any chaplains who did not respond to the first mailing, and would like to help, please contact the office to have your name added to our roster. 


The Sun Coast is the hotel where we will be having our 2015 National Convention. It is a large facility with many options for family fun, including bowling alleys, golf courses (yes, plural!), and many restaurants. Click on the link below for more information and a video.

Our convention rates will be available shortly but it's never too soon to start planning, especially to encourage younger members of your Post or Department to attend, or to include your family and friends in the invitation. The more people who come, the better treatment we receive and the better the event we will have. 


When cleaning the files, the staff at the National Office found a copy of a song that Father Higgins, our founder, had written back in 1943. When Fr. Sheehan was visiting the office, he made a copy, and had a friend play the accompaniment for him.

At the convention in Ohio, he sang the anthem at the Commander's Lunch, and had copies of the sheet music available for anyone who wanted to take one home.

Since then, he has made a recording of his singing the anthem, and has also sent a copy of the accompaniment to Dave Crum. Eventually the plan is that the sheet music, the accompaniment and even Fr. Sheehan's recording will be available for our members to download directly from the web site. 

Wouldn't Father Higgins be surprised!!! 

This is the spot where I get to talk about whatever I want. I'd like to talk about our meetings, which too often become nasty and seem to attract a desire to show off and talk more than to cooperate and work toward a common goal. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment, and in several places this past year, I have had the sense that people were frustrated. We do not have the numbers we used to, some of us aren't able to be as active as we used to be, the financial situation is serious (although perhaps not yet critical), and all of these contribute to tension. And so we react badly. 

I'd like to make a suggestion. When you are in a meeting and someone offers an idea or makes a suggestion, assume it is the best suggestion or idea there is. Only rise to speak if you can improve that idea or if you have a better idea. If you think what is being proposed is a bad idea - even a TERRIBLE idea - but you can't make it better, please stay sitting down, and as my own mother used to lovingly say - Shut up. If you can't improve on it, then trust the comrade who made it, trust the God who looks over us and inspires some of us more than others, and see what happens. If a whole evening can pass without any negative comment, I would count that alone as a major step forward. 

This is true for Post meetings, for District meetings, for Department meetings and especially for national meetings. There was a delightful song in the 40's - "You have to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, but don't mess with Mr. In Between." I'd like to suggest that we try that as a way of operating for a while and see what happens. If meetings are fun, more people are apt to come. If the attacks are stopped, people are going to want to show up. If people are praised for suggestions and criticisms are turned off, we will get more suggestions and good ideas and the whole vision of the Catholic War Veterans that inspired Monsignor Higgins will be more apt to inspire others to join us today. 

I had the honor of being nominated for the position of National Treasurer at our recent convention. I took advice from a number of people and declined the nomination. One man's comment was very revealing. He said, "Father, you've seen how vicious our members can be, attacking anyone who stands up and wants to change anything. Do you really want to submit yourself to that?" 

That is not why I declined the nomination, but it was a telling observation. If that is how we treat one another, then we have lost the sense of what it means to be a "Catholic" organization, and if we lose that, we have lost our reason to exist.

Know that I pray for all our members each day and remember you regularly at Mass. I would ask that you remember me in your prayers, as well as all our officers and our whole organization.

Enjoy the days of summer that are left, spread the word about the CWV by how you live and what you do - if absolutely necessary, use words - and do something good for yourself.

Fr. John R. Sheehan, SJ
National Chaplain

(Please feel free to share events in your area)


September 4
6:30 PM - Father Capadanno Mass
               National Shrine of the
               Immaculate Conception

September 19 - POW-MIA Day
     A Memorial Event at Eisenhower Park in NY

September 27


             Meditation/Section 60



KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Chaplain Michael J. Pollitt

National Director Veterans Affairs Chaplain Service


September 28




KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Commander Kirk S. Lippold, 

           USN (Ret) USS Cole



October 2
6:30 PM - Kings County Dinner and 
               Fr. Capadanno Award
               The Rex Manor, Brooklyn NY

October 4
               Immaculate Conception 90th Anniversary Mass 
               5:00 PM - Astoria, Queens, NY
October 5
11 AM - Dedication of the Memorial to Disabled Veterans
            Washington, DC 

November 6-8
National Board Meeting, Alexandria


January 18
Immaculate Conception Church 90th Anniversary Banquet 
Russo's on the Bay, Howard Beach, NY


Don't waste water by pouring a bucket of the cold stuff over your head. Just send a check to Catholic War Veterans and it counts. After all, the challenge isn't just for ALS but for ANY charity - and we certainly count. So stay dry - stay warm - conserve water - and help the Catholic War Veterans with a check.
441 North Lee Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Voice: (703) 549-3622
Fax: (703) 684-5196
Website: www.cwv.org