Military All Souls Day

Military All Souls Day

Traditional Latin Mass offered at Ft. Hood

by Max Douglas • ChurchMilitant • November 3, 2016

KILLEEN, Texas – An All Souls Day Traditional Latin Mass was celebrated Wednesday on
the Fort Hood Military base.

The Mass was offered on the hood of a military jeep, the traditional way Mass is offered during time of battle.

With some 60 people in attendance, the Mass was especially offered up for the fallen 1st Cavalry Division soldiers who died in the Battle of Unsanin during the Korean War on November 2, 1950.

The Mass was held on the grounds of the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and was also in honor of Fr. Emile Kapaun, 1st Cavalry Division chaplain and Medal of Honor recipient, who gave his life for his soldiers in the Korean War.

According to a military abstract, “In late October 1950, the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division’s 8th Cavalry Regiment (8th Cavalry) encountered units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) at the North Korean town of Unsan.”

“Communist Chinese forces were not known to have crossed the Yalu River into the Korean War. On the night of 1 November, the CPVF forced the 8th Cavalry to withdraw to the south from Unsan. The 8th Cavalry’s estimated losses, sustained between 31 October and 5 November, was 1,000 men.”

Father Kapaun, who was declared a Servant of God by Pope St. John Paul II, was eventually captured and died in a prisoner of war camp during the Korean War. According to a biography, “[He] was constantly administering to the dead and dying while performing baptisms, hearing first confessions for Holy Communion and celebrating Mass from an improvised altar set up on the front end of an army jeep.”

“He constantly would lose his Mass Kit, jeep and trailer to enemy fire,” it continued. “He told how he was thoroughly convinced that the prayers of many others were what had saved him so many times up until his capture. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal in September of 1950 just before his capture in November of 1950.”

Back in August, Church Militant reported on Fort Hood’s High Mass — the first Traditional Latin High Mass on a military base in 45 years. Church Militant spoke with active duty Sergeant Major John Proctor, who told us, “There is a very natural confluence between military service and the Latin Mass due in some measure to the high regard military members have for traditions.”

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4 comments on “Military All Souls Day

  1. Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine et lux perpetua luceat ei Requiescat in pace Amen

  2. The “Altar boy with a canteen” is my friend, Sergeant Major Johnny Proctor.

    Those of you who use Facebook can check his page for many more photos and an article about this magnificent tribute to all the GIs who actually did assist at “Mass on the battlefield,” including my late father during WW II.

  3. My uncle used to serve Mass aboard ship during World War II. As a Marine he was required to wear his sidearm at all times, including while serving at Mass.

  4. The photos and those published, all those years ago, from the battlefields, lift and lifted the spirit! Unlike the ubiquitous incongruous ‘Table Altars’ with which we are assailed to-day!

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