Les Femmes


Dear Editor:
I was stationed in Germany with the Occupation Forces from 1948-1952 serving with Headquarters (HQ) and HQ Company, 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Division. In 1949 the captain of our company, not long with the unit, issued an order: any man who wanted a pass must first pick up a condom and pro kit which is used to prevent venereal disease. A HQ and HQ Company is made up of 300 officers and men; a good 75% were Catholics who attended Mass every Sunday and Tuesday night novenas. They were quite upset with the order. We knew from our Catholic training that to carry and condom and pro kit is an occasion of sin.

About a dozen men went to the Catholic chaplain, Fr. Bernard Herlihey, and told him about the order. He was angry and called the Regimental Commander, Colonel O’Connor, who himself was a practicing Catholic. Fr. Herlihey explained what the men in the company told him. The Colonel called the Company Commander and ordered him to rescind the order immediately. That very day the order was canceled and the Company Commander was reprimanded by the Colonel.

I enjoyed serving with the men HQ & HQ Company. We all stayed close to the faith and tried to live good Catholic lives. You read too many stories about the bad goings-on in the Armed Forces; you read little if anything about the wonderful military chaplains and men (and also women) who serve and are a credit to the uniform.

I thank God that when I was ten my mother took me to see Fr. James, SSJ, our pastor, and told him I wanted to be an altar boy. Every camp I was assigned to before Mass began Father would ask for an Altar Server. I would be the first up to serve. Every Christmas and Easter Father said High Mass and I sang in the choir. The Pater Noster and the Apostles Creed were sung in Latin. How I miss the high Mass in Latin.

Today my son Thomas, 49 years old, is serving in Kuwait. I pray he remains faithful to the Faith. I am proud of how our men and women in the Armed Forces live good Christian lives.

Retired Platoon Sergeant John G. Parisi,
Permanent Deacon
via email

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