Sunday in Paradise

Tuesday, December 6, AD 2016

aloysius-h-schmitt

 

Lieutenant j.g. Aloysius Schmitt had just finished morning mass aboard the USS Oklahoma.  Acting chaplain of the Okie, a Sunday meant a busy day for him, a relaxed day for almost everyone else on board the ship.  Since they were in port and the country was at peace a Sunday was a day of rest.  Besides,  the port was a tropical paradise.  Life was good for the crew of the Okie.

 

Father Schmitt, born on December 4, 1909, was an Iowan, about as far from the sea as it is possible to be in the US.  Studying in Rome for the priesthood, he was ordained on December 8, 1935.  After serving at parishes in Dubuque, Iowa and Cheyenne, Wyoming, Father Schmitt received permission to join the Navy and was commissioned a Lieutenant j.g. on June 28, 1939.

On December 7, 1941 at 8:00 AM the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor began.  The Oklahoma and the other battleships on battleship row were the primary targets.  Alarms began to sound on the Oklahoma, and the ship was hit almost immediately by nine torpedoes from Japanese torpedo bombers.  The ship began to list badly and every sailor knew that it was probably just a few minutes before the Okie would capsize.

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7 Responses to Sunday in Paradise

  • Thank you, Donald. This is why your blog is my first read every day. I think we are returning to a time when we have priests who would volunteer for military service when war might break out. I believe they call such men shepherds.

  • “Sunday was a day of rest.”

    Not necessarily for the duty section, especially for Engineering. Out of my five years of shipboard duty, I can only recall one Sunday duty day in port where all I had to do was stand a four hour watch.

  • I agree with Father of Seven, Donald. Excellent post.
    .
    As for Sunday being a day of rest, Greg Mockeridge is correct too. The Engineering Department of a nuclear submarine (which did not exist in WW II) was always on watch rotation whether at sea or in port. The reactor watchstations always have to be manned regardless that the reactor is operating at sea or the plant is shutdown and the sub is on shore power in port. You would have it no other way.

  • The comments of you and Greg reveal that I spent my inglorious time in the military as an ignorant Army ground pounder!

  • We neglect our military heroes and religious, then wonder why we don’t have any role models.

  • So many saints we have! Father Schmitt and the Sullivan boys, and all our wonderful defenders- from all branches of service- please keep defending us from heaven!

  • “And the sea shall give up its dead..” Rev. 20:13

    May we all some day meet Lt. Schmitt in a far brighter and glorious dawn. What an honor t’would be..

Sunday in Paradise

Wednesday, December 7, AD 2011

 

aloysius-h-schmitt

 

Lieutenant j.g. Aloysius Schmitt had just finished morning mass aboard the USS Oklahoma.  Acting chaplain of the Okie, a Sunday meant a busy day for him, a relaxed day for almost everyone else on board the ship.  Since they were in port and the country was at peace a Sunday was a day of rest.  Besides,  the port was a tropical paradise.  Life was good for the crew of the Okie.

Father Schmitt, born on December 4, 1909, was an Iowan, about as far from the sea as it is possible to be in the US.  Studying in Rome for the priesthood, he was ordained on December 8, 1935.  After serving at parishes in Dubuque Iowa and Cheyenne, Wyoming, Father Schmitt received permission to join the Navy and was commissioned a Lieutenant j.g. on June 28, 1939.

On December 7, 1941 at 8:00 AM the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor began.  The Oklahoma and the other battleships on battleship row were the primary targets.  Alarms began to sound on the Oklahoma, and the ship was hit almost immediately by nine torpedoes from Japanese torpedo bombers.  The ship began to list badly and every sailor knew that it was probably just a few minutes before the Okie would capsize.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Sunday in Paradise

  • “Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends.”

    I believe that Father Schmitt was in The True Paradise that Sunday and is so today.

    Envy is a sin. But, sometimes maybe not. I envy Father Schmitt’s Faith, Hope, Charity, and his Moral Courage.

  • “I believe that Father Schmitt was in The True Paradise that Sunday and is so today. ”

    Hence the title of the post T.Shaw. I too envy Father Schmitt for his selfless love.