from the Reverend Redactor

Volume 13                                                                                   August  2015
Here Is Some of What You Mssed

Arminda Crawford Was elected As Our New National Commander - She is not only the first femalCommander in the Catholic War Veterans, but I think she is the first female National Commander of ANY veterans organization. Congratulations! The Military  Archdiocese issued a news release and this link should take you to it. 

Listing of new office holders - We had a bunch of folk elected to the leadership of the Catholic War Veterans and the Auxiliary, and I asked for a list of the correct and up to date names. It should appear on the web site. One I DO know is that the new National Chaplain for the Auxiliary is Fr. Bill McLaughlin, from Post One in NY and at Immaculate Conception Parish. 
Fr. Bill and two of his new bosses. 

One of the Big Announcements was that the National Office will be moving to New York, to the Borough of Queens. While the details are still being worked out - and since I am not a professional journalist and therefore am reluctant to simply make things up - the move should take place some time in the next 6 to 9 months. Details will be forthcoming, but at some point, there will probably be a minor disruption of service as things get packed, moved and settled into a new location. 

Upcoming Conventions - Next year in Portland, Maine and I confess to LOVING Maine. I worked there off and on for several summers, and have friends and godchildren up there. The next year in the St. Louis area and there were some suggestions and offers of help to find a venue, perhaps not downtown, that would be more affordable. Then, perhaps, Denver - at least it was suggested and voted on, so that we would meet the constitutional requirement of selecting a site three years in advance. 

Wine tasting tour -
On the Monday, a number of us went into the desert to find a vineyard about an hour away from the hotel, for a tour and a wine-tasting. A vineyard in the desert? Yup, and although it is a fairly small operation, it's very well-run, very professional, and among the facts we learned is that they use about a million and a half gallons of water a month to keep the vines irrigated. We ran into a Catholic War Veteran who is a member of the state House of Representatives and running for the Senate Seat to be vacated by Harry Reid. He visited with us for a while, lots of pictures taken, and then a delicious lunch with 7 (Seven!) kind of wine for tasting. Several people were seen napping on the ride home. 
Note the wine barrels - and the smiles. 
Jose insisted that not all those glasses were his.
She was smiling even before the wine tasting.
Some smart folks skipped the outdoor tour (104 degrees) and made friends with the bar maid.

You would have thought that someone running for office would have bought a round of drinks...

Horseshoe wine racks and cowboy boot wine coolers - something for everyone. 

Bowling tournament - no word on who won or what the scores were.  I guess "What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas." 

Chaplain & Commander's Lunch - A fun affair, as it always is. Bill Youngren was Master of Ceremonies (he did it again at the closing banquet, and he is SO GOOD at that it takes my breath away. He keeps the event moving and yet manages to give it its own dignity and solemnity and adds really beautiful observations along the way), Commander Finkel did the classic "Who's on First?" sketch with our altar server and his nephew Landon, PNC Leo Haley and Fr. McLaughlin each spoke briefly. Fr. Sheehan was persuaded to sing some lyrics he had written for Commander Finkel, and presented him with an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Francis. And the food was terrific as well. 

PNC Finkel presenting the gavel to the new Commander. 
The 2015-2016 National Officers for the Auxiliary

Hospitality - Those who have been to a national convention know that there is usually a Hospitality Room where people can gather at the end of a long day, and those with hair can let it down. There is food for munching, and drinks for drinking, and good friends to help you out if you get the two confused. There are very few pictures taken at the Hospitality Room. These were smuggled out at great risk to life and limb. 
It's official - the problems of the world HAVE been solved. Rest easy. 
This was not at the Hospitality Room - but you know you're in a casino when there is a cup holder everywhere you go. And I mean everywhere. 

This picture was actually NOT taken at the Hospitality Room but it could have been. Same decor - same cast of characters - same smiles.


Bishop Richard Higgins surprised Past National Commander Jose Garcia with a special award from the Military Archdiocese at the end of the Mass at which the St . Sebastian and St. Agnes medals were awarded. The Award is given to no more than 5 individuals in a year, and is one of the most prestigious recognitions that the Archdiocese presents. For the full news release, follow this LINK.

Father Capodanno Memorial Mass

The Father Capodanno Memorial Mass will take place on Thursday, September 3 at 6:30pm at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.
This annual Mass is celebrated for the repose of Father Vincent R. Capodanno, MM, a Catholic Military Chaplain and U.S. Navy Lieutenant who was killed in Vietnam on September 4, 1967 as he gave physical and spiritual assistance to wounded and dying U.S. Marines during battle with the North Vietnamese Army.
Father Capodanno posthumously received the Medal of Honor, and in May 2006 the Catholic Church authorized the official beginning of his Cause for Canonization and thus recognizing him as a Servant of God.
The Cause is officially promoted by the Father Vincent Capodanno Guild, a private Catholic Church association and not-for-profit corporation.
The Mass is open to the public. Military members are encouraged to wear the uniform of the day and civilians, business attire.

Because of our special status with the Military Archdiocese, Catholic War Veterans and Auxiliary members are encouraged to make a special effort to attend this Mass in uniform, so we can be recognized and the Archbishop knows that we are supporting his important work. 

MEMBERSHIP - Adding to our membership is the responsibility of each member. If each member brought in one new member every year, we would be a potent national force in a very short time. Don't feel alone - there is help available for your efforts:
There is a video - here is a link - 

And there is LOTS of information and help on the website to aid in your recruiting efforts.

If you have a question you can't answer, if you need help or brochures, call the national office and someone will help you. 

CATHOLIC VETERANS SERVICE FOUNDATION - Donations made through the Foundation are tax-deductible. For additional information, contact the National Office. 

If you have not visited our page, please do. You do NOT have to join Facebook in order to visit our page. If you DO use Facebook and like it, see about becoming an administrator for our page. Fr. Sheehan has been the one mostly adding news items, pictures and updates, and now we are looking for someone to make the page come alive. 

TWITTER - If you do not have a Twitter account, you should sign up for one. They are free, and you will quickly discover that CWV is on Twitter almost every day, with a news items, a religious reminder or an encouragement to take action. You don't have to do anything, your Twitter feed will bring the items to you, and you then can show off by knowing what's going on, or share them with friends. CWV is very active in the Twitter community, and you should be a part of it as well. 

MASS CARDS - Are an excellent way to show sympathy or celebrate a special event, as well as support the CWV. You may order them as needed, or purchase several in advance to have easily available. 

Well, this is the last issue of Ramblings that will come from me. Whether someone will continue it, or some other publication will be born, I have no way of knowing. I had hoped to have more pictures from the Convention. I had asked and begged and nagged for all the people who were taking pictures to share them, and I hope they may have with the National Office. But when you put out a Newsletter, you make do with what you've got.

This was one of the attempts I made to better communicate with more people, and I have been gratified to learn that some Commanders copy this and share it with others in their Department or their Post. Of course, communication is a two-way street, and if people don't let their opinions be known, if they don't send in reports, if they don't make suggestions - well, there we are, talking to ourselves. Again.

I am including in these closing remarks a couple of pictures of the altar. Looks nice, and if I do say so myself, the new liturgical items look good too. Unfortunately there are still too many of them that can still be memorialized; I had hope more would have been taken up, by Posts or Departments or individuals. It is a special way to remember a loved one, and, let's be honest, those gifts help pay for the items. If you would like to know what's available, and what the cost is, please check with the National Office.

Final words - I have said several times how great an honor it was to serve you as National Chaplain. I was inspired by what was done, and discouraged at what wasn't. I continue to believe that we are in a unique position to influence the country and the Church. But life isn't a television set; if we do nothing but sit and talk to one another, it makes no difference outside our meeting rooms or our convention gatherings. The work we do with the veterans in the VA hospitals, and some of the programs we have in the schools are magnificent. The silence from other quarters and the attendance at meetings and events would lead the casual observer to think we were an endangered species. We are a national organization , and we have to start thinking and operating as a national organization. If we continue to think and work as though the national office is a Post, if our leaders and we as members cannot think and work on a national level - what one member keeps calling "being professional" - we will become an interesting footnote in history but nothing more.

You and the Catholic War Veterans and the Auxiliary and the new Foundation will remain in my prayers. I hope to be at the convention in Portland; after that, my future and my geographic base will depend on my Provincial. God bless you all, and God bless the United States of America. 

Fr. John R. Sheehan, SJ
National Chaplain

(Please feel free to share events in your area)


September 3
6:30 PM - Annual Fr. Capodanno Mass at the National Basilica
Washington, D.C. 

September 7
Labor Day

September 11
Patriot Day, a national day of service and remembrance

September 16
American Legion chartered

September 18
US Air Force established, 1947
POW-MIA Recognition Day

September 22
Kings County Dinner Honoring WWII Veterans

September 23-27
Pope Francis Visits USA

September 29
Gold Star Families Day 

October 11
New York City - VEThack Charity Ruck March to End Veteran Suicide 
with GORUCK, Woodruff Foundation, and Team RWB

October 13
U.S. Navy established (1775) 

November 1
Daylight Savings Time ends (Clocks turn back one hour)

November 10
U.S. Marines established (1775)
November 11
Veterans Day

November 12-14
CWV National Board Meeting, Alexandria

November 26
Thanksgiving Day

December 7
Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day


May 15
Memorial Mass, Military Archdiocese, Washington DC


If you've already given a gift earlier this year, thank you. Can you do it again? Do you have a friend or a business that might want to support the philosophy of the Catholic War Veterans and the Auxiliary? If the check or credit card slip is made out to the foundation, the gift is now tax deductible. Gifts may always be designated for the Auxiliary or to support a special project, and the request will always be honored. 

Thank you for all you've done in the past - and if you get a little extra, win a lottery or get lucky at the racetrack, think about sharing with the Catholic Veterans Service Foundation.