Chaplains of the
36th Infantry Division
Chaplain (Colonel) Herbert E. MacCombie
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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by Mary MacCombie Fietsam
Printed by Permission