April marked the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and some folks might think there wouldn’t be much interest in Catholic-related stories about the War Between the States too far outside Washington or beyond the site of the major battles between North and South. But then along comes a feature from one of the Catholic newpapers in the Midwest.
The story in the Nov. 21 issue of The Catholic Spirit, of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, describes how Father John Ireland of Minnesota tended to the spiritual needs of soldiers on the battlefield.
In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln called for priests to serve as Civil War hospital chaplains. Twenty-two answered, among them a young Minnesotan.