December 23, 2016

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Catholic War Veterans looking to increase presence across Indiana

I am a U.S. veteran deeply wanting to share the Catholic faith.

I have recently returned from a very memorable trip to Liberty, Mo., celebrating and commemorating the cause for canonization of the heroic battlefield Navy Chaplain, Father Vincent Robert Capodanno, MaryKnoll Missionary, Servant of God, and posthumous recipient of The Congressional Medal of Honor. I recommend that you go to to follow the account for canonization.

An account of the battlefield situation in which Father Capodanno served valiantly attending to the U.S. Marines of Mike Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, can be found in the book titled Swift Sword by Doyle D. Glass. Father Capodanno was killed in action on Sept. 4, 1967.

I introduced to Bishop Charles C. Thompson of Evansville last February my desire to establish the first presence of the Catholic War Veterans (CWV) organization within Indiana. Bishop Thompson readily endorsed and blessed this initiative, appointing my pastor, Father J. Kenneth Walker as post chaplain.

I was elected to the position of Post Commander, Post 1976, in Martin County. I am asking all diocesan newspapers in Indiana to notify all veteran service organization posts and chapters within Indiana.

The purpose is to spread the word about this prominent 81-year-old federally chartered veteran service organization, which was founded by Father Edward J. Higgins, in the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 19, 1935.

Having convened several World War I veterans concerned about the “isms” of that time, notably communism and Naziism, Father Higgins traveled to Rome and received a papal blessing from Pope Pius XI on June 11, 1935, for this new organization.

The CWV, similar to the Knights of Columbus in spreading the Catholic faith by word and example, continues to gain new membership in both posts and auxiliary.

The CWV mandates, as its primary responsibility, to diligently cooperate with all veterans service organizations in providing for the needs, benefits and welfare of all veterans and their families. 

If you would like to ask questions about how to become a member of a CWV Veterans Post, seek requirements for joining the Auxiliary, or perhaps petition information for forming a Post (a minimum of 15 veterans is required), please e-mail me at

The requirements to become a CWV member of a post include:

  • Being a baptized Catholic, who was at least honorably discharged, and served at least 90 days of active duty.

The requirement to become a CWV member of an auxiliary include:

  • Being related to a veteran within two degrees.

- George (Bud) Erler, Jr.
Post Commander,
The Catholic War Veterans of The U.S.A., Inc.
Bishop Simon Bruté, Servant of God,
Memorial Post 1976
Martin County

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