Chaplains of the
36th Infantry Division

by

Chaplain (Colonel) Herbert E. MacCombie
Division Chaplain


Lay Assistance To Chaplains

My records list a host of officers and enlisted men who assisted other chaplains and me in their work.  Some of them served as deacons or altar boys.  Others sang or played musical instruments for our services.

Mr. Sepp, CWO, commanding officer of the band issued a memorandum for all chaplains offering to furnish music for our services.  At times Corps Headquarters requested services of some of our men to help in their services.  We had many fine organists among the chaplainsí assistants.  Sergeant Frank Sweigert always arranged my music.  When I had to be away, he often gave personal counseling to the many enlisted men who came to our office for help.

I had one colonel who served as deacon for my communion service.  At the conclusion of the service he came to me to report that there were two men who refused to accept communion.  I asked who they were.  One was my organist who was a Jew.  The other was my assistant who was a Roman Catholic.

Of all the division staff who assisted me, the most faithful was Lt. Colonel Harold L. Reese, the Division Inspector General.  He sang for our services whenever possible.  Unfortunately, he was killed at Velletri.

One of my cherished memories is of the altar communion services I held when Protestant churches were available.  I had a general kneeling beside two privates to receive communion.  It was a witness to me of our common brotherhood in the presence of our Heavenly Father.  It was NOT arranged.  It just happened that way.

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Copyright 2001 by Mary MacCombie Fietsam
Printed by Permission

 
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