A Chaplain of the Great War

A truly remarkable interview conducted in 1982 of the experiences as a Catholic Chaplain of Father William Bonniwell, O.P. during World War I. At the time of the interview Father Bonniwell was 96 and I think his vigor and clarity of recollection and speech are astounding.

This is well beyond the time period usually covered by this blog, but I found this first hand testimony too compelling not to use in a post.

After the War Father Bonniwell had an illustrious career. He was a professor of homiletics at the Dominican House of Studies in River Forest, Illinois. He was head of the Preacher’s Institute in Washington DC. For many years he was on the staff of St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City. He was the author of ”Margaret of Castello,” , a biography of the 14th-century Italian Dominican nun, who is a true patron of unwanted children, as she was born a dwarf, hunchbacked, blind and lame and was ultimately rejected by her parents, and throughout her travails radiated the love of God. He translated from Latin ”The Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Preachers”, and produced the groundbreaking History of the Dominican Liturgy 1215-1945.

Father Bonniwell died in 1984. Here he tells the amusing story of one of his pupils who had difficulty with theology.

How I wish I could have met Father Bonniwell when he lived! He was a character, as well as a holy and brave man! When he enjoyed the Beatific Vision, I suspect there were smiles all around.

Published in: on May 9, 2010 at 5:40 am  Comments Off on A Chaplain of the Great War  
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