The sixth American to be granted the status of sainthood by the Catholic Church was a remarkable woman by the name Katharine Mary Drexel (1858 – 1955). Born into aristocratic circles in Philadelphia, she entered a convent at the age of 31. She is remembered for toiling unceasingly among America's down-trodden while liberally dispersing her family fortune in the process:
"In a period of some 60 years, she gave away $12 million. In doing so, she built 45 elementary schools, 12 high schools a university and countless country schools; she supported orphanages, hospitals and homes for the aged; she increased her congregation from its original 11 teaching nuns to over 500 at the time of her death in 1955."
"The fastest-growing Protestant religion today is the Pentecostal movement... In barely half a century this dynamic young version of old-time fundamentalism has produced spectacularly successful leaders such as Oral Roberts and the late Aimee Semple McPherson, has won the devotion of at least 2,000,000 Americans of every racial and religious origin and through zealous foreign missionary work, has gained thousands of converts on every continent."
Frederic W. Farrar (1831 - 1903), Dean of Canterbury Cathedral during the last eight years of the Victorian era saw fit to examine God's silence and seeming indifference while humanity struggles:
"God makes no ado. He does not defend Himself. He suffers men to blaspheme. His enemies make a murmuring but he refrains. And much of what is said is awfully true - for those who utter it. To men, to nations, God is silent; there is no God. Their ears are closed so that they cannot hear. They who love the darkness have it. To those who will not listen, God does not speak."
"When mobilization began, the government, as usual, undertook to provide spiritual ministry for the men. But many veteran clergymen doubted whether religion would catch on... But religion did catch on - and with such vigor that the chaplaincy services have been swamped by it. Army and Navy chapels are jam-packed. Demands for special services, for Bible study and for religious instruction, are more than can be met. Many men - Protestant and Catholic - are being baptized or confirmed. Some chaplains report an almost overwhelming interest in religion and church as a career."
Click here to read about the renewed interest in religion that existed on the home front...
For the believers in this world, it is very easy to see World War II as a spiritual conflict waged against the righteous by the evil forces of darkness. The atheist Nazis were truly having their way with the lukewarm Christians who filled the ranks of the European Armies - up until the arrival of a particular North American army whose motto is "In God We Trust". Even to this day, the U.S. Military holds the record as having built more churches than any other institution (every base, fort and naval installation had one). This article reports that the U.S.Army did not simply deliver weaponry to our Chinese allies, they delivered millions of Bibles, too.
During the course of the Second World War, over 12,000 Protestant ministers, Catholic priests, and Jewish rabbis left the safety of home to join the Chaplain Corps - yet this short article explains that in August of 1941 there were only 994 Protestants, 318 Catholics and 18 Rabbis enrolled in the Chaplaincy. Five months later, with the Pearl Harbor attack, these numbers would begin their climb. The article was written to mark the introduction of the prefabricated chapels that the military would be adding to each of the camps that would soon be dotting the American landscape.