A Baseball Player, an Army Chaplain, and a Revered Pastor

Charles Lamb has an excellent column in today’s Wall Street Journal on the role that faith played in the life of Jackie Robinson.   We all know the story of Jackie Robinson, a great ballplayer and a great American, whose courage and determination helped spur the civil rights movement and the integration of our nation.  But, as Mr. Lamb writes, “What is often overlooked in accounts of Robinson’s life is that it is also a religious story. His faith in God, as he often attested, carried him through the torment and abuse of integrating the major leagues.”

I’m looking forward to seeing the new movie, “42,” which opened today. I’m glad that, as Mr. Lamb’s column notes, the movie does portray at least something of the role that faith played in both Jackie Robinson’s and Branch Rickey’s lives, in their quest to break baseball’s color line.

The New York Times has two good stories about priests in today’s paper as well. The first is on Father Emil Kapuan, an Army chaplain who died as a POW during the Korean War, who yesterday was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor at the White House.  The second story was on Msgr. Gerald Ryan, New York’s – and probably the nation’s –  longest serving pastor,  who died yesterday at the age of 93.  Two outstanding priests, who each served the Lord and his people well and faithfully.

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2 Responses to “A Baseball Player, an Army Chaplain, and a Revered Pastor”

  1. Janet Marie says:

    Thank you Cardinal Dolan for the links to articles about men with great faith. In Michigan, we have a priest at a church in Flint Michigan who is 93 years old and still serves his people faithfully and the Lord despite the fact that most of his parishioners are younger than the pastor is.

  2. MaryGr says:

    Ah. Dear Father Ryan. He would frequently come to Dr. Emily’s abortion mill in the Bronx to pray the rosary. He said it very quickly and I came to think of it as the Irish rosary. I told him that once and how that speeded up version was always intense and focused. Rather like if you’re driving 90 miles an hour, you really have to pay attention. I think he got a kick out of that. God rest his beautiful soul. He’ll be missed.