ABOUT THE CATHOLIC WAR VETERANS
PURPOSE OF THE CATHOLIC WAR VETERANS
OBJECTIVES OF THE CATHOLIC WAR VETERANS
The primary objective of the Catholic War Veterans (CWV) is to make the entire nation acutely aware of the struggle and needs of many veterans, their widows and children. We, as survivors, have an obligation to our fallen brothers and sisters to inform the people of our country that many veterans and their families need assistance; that these veterans have made sacrifices for their country and deserve to be treated accordingly, with proper respect and support. It is also the responsibility of the Catholic War Veterans to help protect, preserve and defend the Constitution of the United States and the laws of our government.
As members of the CWV, we are obligated to cooperate to the fullest extent with all veterans' organizations in order to better serve the interests of the men and women who served in each of the the wars in which our nation has been involved. However, we must constantly remember, that as Catholics, we are bound to serve God. We can do this in many ways, such as demonstrating our love and respect to individuals without regard to race, creed, color or national origin. We must strive to instill in the young people of today a respect for our flag, our national anthem, and for the traditions of our great country. And finally, we must remember that the family is the basic unit or building block in our society. May we ask the Lord's blessing in providing us with the strength and fortitude to achieve our goals.
History Of the Catholic War Veterans
Important Dates In Catholic War Veterans' History
RIGHT REVERAND MONSIGNOR EDWARD J. HIGGINS, L.L.D.
In early 1935 -Msgr. (then Father) Edward J. Higgins, with permission of his Bishop Ordinary, Most Reverend Thomas E. Molloy of the Diocese of Brooklyn, gathered together a few parishoners from his parish, Church of the Immaculate Conception in New York, who had served in World War I, and organized the first Post of the Catholic War Veterans (CWV) - Astoria Post #1, which is a Post of Queens Chapter, Department of New York.
May 19, 1935 - Catholic War Veterans of the United States of America was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York.
May 1935 - Father Higgins journeyed to Rome. Pope Pius XI bestowed his blessing upon the Catholic War Veterans, and blessed the American and Papal flags of the CWV.
July 1940 - The Catholic War Veterans was officially recognized as a Veterans Organization by the Veterans Administration in Washington, DC.
August 17, 1984 - President Ronald Reagan signs legislation granting the Catholic War Veterans (CWV) a Congressional Charter, being the 59th group to receive a Federal Charter, expressing deep admiration for our commitment to serve both God and Country.
EARLY HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC WAR VETERANS
(Excerpt taken from the booklet written about the Catholic War Veterans by Sister Mary Matthias, RSM)
Ever since the close of World War I, America had been threatened by the so-called political heresies commonly known today as the "Ism" movement, their purpose to destroy Christianity. Incidentally, up until this time the Catholic Church in America had, strictly speaking, no militant veterans organization made up of men and women who had served their country in time of war. It is true that the Knights of Columbus saw to the needs of Catholic soldiers in camps and behind the battlefield. However, the Knights of Columbus is not a veterans' organization, but rather a lay organization, commissioned by the United States Government to render services to Catholics in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
Our Holy Father, Pius XI, warned the world of the dreadful disaster and danger of the "Ism" movements. In response to this warning, aimed directly at Communism, the Reverend Edward J. Higgins, Pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Astoria, Long Island, New York, determined not only to heed the Pope's plea, but also to do something about it. Father Higgins, who had served as a commissioned Lieutenant Chaplain in the United States Army, had discovered that Catholic servicemen and women had very little organized voice in national matters that concerned their God, their Country and their Home. He knew that without some sort of organized action, the Catholic Veterans could not, as a specific group, voice their approval or disapproval on any matters of grave importance. Thus, Father Higgins conceived the vital need for an organized Catholic veterans' group. It was due to his priestly guidance, together with the worthy efforts of Past National Commander, John M. Dealy, that the Catholic War Veterans' of the United States was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York on May 19, 1935.
In May 1935, Father Higgins journeyed to Rome and while there had a private audience with Pope Pius XI. Father Higgins informed his Holiness of what he had thus far accomplished in organizing and establishing the new veterans' group. He elaborated, too, on his plans and hopes for the future of this organization. Pope Pius XI was pleased with and intensely interested in this new drive for Catholic Action. The Holy Father did not fear for the future of the organization, but, mindful of the Lord's own words:
.....Where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them....
bestowed upon it his blessing. On this same occasion, the sovereign Pontiff not only blessed the American and Papal Flags of the new organization, but presented Father Higgins with a photograph of himself specially autographed, as an inspiration to urge members ever onward in their endeavors to make this land of ours safe for democracy.
The Creation of the Department of New York of the CWV
The Department of New York was organized in the winter of 1937-38 at a Convention held at the St. George Hotel, Brooklyn, New York. when James J. Munro was elected Commander. The present headquarters is located in New York City.
The present Commander is Joseph Nickleson, a member of St. Margaret's Post, Queens. There are numerous Posts that report their CWV activities, grouped as County Chapters and Posts not under Chapter jurisdiction. These Posts are located from Suffolk County, Long Island, to Cheektowaga, Buffalo. These Posts report to the Department of New York at quarterly meetings held at different sites to foster personal contact with the Department.
The Chaplain of the Department of New York is Rev. Anthony Dell'Anno, a Brooklyn Parish priest. Each unit has their own Chaplain to guide the members in matters of faith and morality.
The programs of the Department of New York follow the guidelines of the National Department, that are issued each year and basically cover:
Each Post will also have local religious and patriotic activities relative to their Parish, and the local VA Hospital facilities. Our members are very active as volunteers at these hospitals for which they have been awarded for their service, which is recorded in hours spent at the hospital. Their service includes wheelchair escorts; arranging holiday socials and games; providing canteen books to use at the retail store for toiletries; bedside visits and helping with personal chores.
The emblem adopted by the organization typifies the ideals of each individual member.