Cérémonie Chapelle de Cauquigny ~ June 2nd

Honoring +Friar Ignatius Maternowski, OFM Conv.

A Franciscan Friar Conventual priest of our province who served as a US military Paratroopers’ Chaplain, +Capt. Father Ignatius Maternowski, OFM Convwas killed during the Invasion of Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6, 1944. (Order’s Website 11-16-2021 article)

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One June 2, 2022, a ceremony took please in the Chapel of Cauquigny (Normandy) in honor of +Friar Ignatius. In attendance were three of our province friars: Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. (former Minister Provincial), Fr. Martin Kobos, OFM Conv. (Pastor of Mother Cabrini Catholic Church, Shamokin, PA) and Br. Michael Duffy, OFM Conv. (Principal of St. Francis High School, Athol Springs, NY)

The stained glass window in the chapelle des Parachutés (aka La Petite Chapelle de Cauquigny ~ Église Saint-Ferréol), in honor of +Fr. Ignatius Maternowski, OFM Conv. was dedicated on November 12, 2021, during a Mass celebrated by the (now former Minister Provincial of our province, Fr. James McCurry, OFM Conv. (link to 11-12-2021 article)

Ceremonial Unveiling of the +Fr. Ignatius vitrail (stained glass window), in La Petite Chapelle de Cauquigny, on June 2, 2022. Friar Martin and Friar James are pictured below the window. One hour prior to the ceremony, the parachute, on loan from Bertrand de la petite musette [Bertrand of the Little Seagull], was hung for the unveiling during the June 2, 2022 ceremony.

June 2, 2022: Friar Martin and Friar Michael greeting those in attendance.

Remarks by Friar James

Friar James gifts an artist rendering of the +Fr. Ignatius vitrail to the Parish Priest of Picauville and Sainte-Mère-Église, le père Marie Bernard Seigneur.

Artist renderings of the +Fr. Ignatius vitrail were distributed by our friars to many of the dignitaries present.

Adapted from the June 3, 2022 post on the St. Francis High School Facebook Page:
Three of our the recent graduates from our Athol Springs, NY high school ministry ~ St. Francis High School (SFHS) – pictured below, joined our friars in Normandy to present the American Flag, which flew over our school all year, at the gravesite of +Friar Ignatius, who was a member of the SFHS Class of 1931. +Friar Ignatius was the only US chaplain to be killed on D-Day at the age of 32. He was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and his name is commemorated on many memorials around the world, including one in Athol Springs. Our friars, as well as the staff & families of SFHS are proud of these graduates for making this journey. We all continue to pray for +Friar Maternowski, all the heroes of D-Day, and for those who faithfully serve our country.

More information, videos and photos
can be found on the
Association U.S. Normandie , mémoire et gratitude
and the
St. Francis High School
Facebook pages.

A June 8, 2022 Message from Fr. James:

This morning the President of the “US-Normandy Association: Remembrance and Gratitude,” Mr. Eric Labourdette, send me this great article (above) from a French newspaper with a thorough report about the dedication ceremony for the new stained-glass window of Fr. Ignatius Maternowski in the Cauquigny Chapel, Normandy, which took place on the 2nd of June.  Take note that in the article, there are five references which I suggest be given special attention: 1) the title identifies Fr. Maternowski as “the first priest to be killed in the Battle of Normandy.”  2) The chaplain from Fort Bragg, Rev. Michael Krog, described the name of Fr. Maternowski as a “name forged in the legacy of the 82nd Airborne Division – forged by the fire of D-Day.  3) The parish priest of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Pere Seigneur, said that “In France we know two churches, Notre Dame and Sainte-Mere-Eglise; now it is necessary to add the Cauquigny Chapel!” 4) The article notes the presence of artist who created the window, Joe Beyer of Philadelphia, who assisted in its unveiling during the ceremony.   5) At the end, the article describes the three Franciscan friars and the students from the same school as Fr. Maternowski attended in New York laying a wreath at the exact spot where he died.  The rest of the article quotes from the text of my speech, including my acknowledging the presence of the artist Joseph Beyer.  The article also references the exquisite and inspiring hymn sung by the Fort Bragg choir, “Requiem for a Soldier.”

Normandy – Cauquigny Reflection by Fr. James McCurry

Normandy – Gueutteville Reflection by Fr. James McCurry

Normandy Parachute Team, comprised of French civilians, which has adopted our +Fr. Ignatius Maternowski as their patron. Eric Labourdette jumped with this flag (drapeau) of “Pere Maternowski.”

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