Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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In These Sentiments, He Died

March 13th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

There are those whom I know who doubt the efficacy of Eucharistic Adoration. I can state, through personal experience and various experiences of others, that there is a true hidden majesty at work whenever one is in the presence of Our Lord – whether one is aware of this presence or not.

The following is taken from the parish website of St. Francis Xavier in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I certainly hope you all know of the battle fought there from 1 July to 3 July, 1863 – I hope to post more about it (and its Catholic-interest stories) when I pass through the town on my way to the Pontifical Mass in Washington in April. You would be surprised at how many notably Catholic things occurred there, and in the towns between there and our nation’s capital.

St. Francis Xavier Church played a very important role during the Civil War as a hospital following the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. The most seriously wounded, numbering between 200-250, were brought and nursed by the Sisters of Charity. One of the sisters wrote, “They lay on the pew seats, under the pews, in every aisle, and there was scarcely room to pass among them in the sanctuary and in the gallery . . . . The Station pictures hung around the walls, and a very large oil painting of St. Francis Xavier, holding in his hand a crucifix to show the benighted pagans the sign of their Redemption. This was a Book read by our poor men, for we had in that Church but one Catholic, and our glorious saint was for the time resuming his apostolical mission among them. The first man put in the sanctuary was soon baptized, and with truly Christian sentiments. His pain was excruciating and when sympathy was offered to him he said, ?Oh! What are these pains I suffer in comparison with those my Redeemer suffered for me.? In these sentiments he died.”
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9 Responses to “In These Sentiments, He Died”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    The Sisters of Charity were of course founded by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester was founded by her order in 1857. In 1863 St. Mary's treated more than 5,000 Civil War soldiers. Unfortunately, during the reign of Bishop Clark, Rochester lost these good sisters and the Catholic faith in Rochester lost the grace and good will that these sisters imparted upon our community for over a century.

  2. avatar Gen says:

    Once I get back from Washington, I will be posting a piece or two on St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and her order. It's truly amazing how in the course of just one century and a half, so much can change.

    St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us. And pray for them that drive away those who serve Christ and His Church.

  3. avatar VCS says:

    Many Many Catholic family babies were born at St. Mary's during the "baby boom" generation…including me! I know there was much faith and comfort imparted by the good sisters and Catholic physicians during this time. My mother was very active in the Seton volunteer branches whereby many Catholic women brought charity and financial resources to the hospital and those it served. St. Mary's had a special place in the heart of Bishop James E. Kearney. There is a unique painting by local artist John Menihan that depicts Mother Seton's life. This painting hangs in St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Irondequoit.
    Mother Seton pray for us!

  4. I used to serve as an altar boy at St. Mary's Hospital for Father John Rosse in the early 60s. Fine priest; fine sisters; fine hospital.

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    Oh, the graces received from being an altar boy as a young man! I am sure they have helped to sustain you over the years! Fr. Rosse resides at St. Margaret Mary Rectory, Irondequoit and says their morning Mass quite frequently.

  6. avatar Gen says:

    I met the man once – another true example of the priesthood.

  7. avatar VCS says:

    Gen,
    Oh yes! A good priest. Grew-up in St. Thomas the Apostle parish, Irondequoit, and attended grade school there.
    Many good fruits from STA!

  8. avatar Kelly says:

    Last time we attended Mass at the church in Gettysburg, we were told they had outgrown the location and were going to soon break ground on a new church building. Any news in that regard? The stained glass windows are lovely.

  9. avatar Anonymous says:

    We should not forget our local Catholic Civil War Gettysburg hero, Col Patrick O'Rourke. See the biography below and note especially the last paragraph! God Bless Rochester and our service men and woman all over the world protecting our freedoms!

    Patrick Henry O'Rorke ?
    Native & Gettysburg War Hero
    Patrick Henry O'Rorke, a hero for the Union forces at the Battle of Gettysburg, was born in Drumbess, Cornafean Ireland on March 25, 1837. He became a highly decorated soldier of the Union Army in the American Civil War. In his infancy, his parents emigrated to America and settled in the upstate New York city of Rochester. Their house, at 19 Emmitt St. was located in an Irish section of the city called 'Dublin'. Patrick excelled in his education, and graduated from Rochester's public schools in the mid-1850s, and was universally acclaimed as the city's finest student.
    ?He was offered a scholarship to the University of Rochester, but instead accepted an apprenticeship as a marble cutter and mason at the Hibbard Marble Works. He soon was regarded as the best mason in Rochester but he abandoned this career at the age of 20, when he was accepted as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point. He was the only member of his class born outside of the United States.
    In June 1861, he graduated first in his class. Interestingly, General George A. Custer, later remembered for his role in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, was one of O?Rorke?s classmates. On his graduation, O?Rorke was assigned to the elite Corps of Engineers, and became immediately involved in the Civil War. He was a staff officer at the first battle of the war, Bull Run, where the horse he was riding was killed.
    He then took part in several key assignments, designing and building the defenses for several cities, and was selected to accept the Confederate surrender at Fort Pulaski, Georgia in April 1862. That summer, he took leave and returned to Rochester to marry his childhood sweetheart on July 9th. Shortly after his wedding, he was promoted to Colonel and given command of the newly formed 140th N.Y. Infantry Regiment.
    He led the 140th at the Battle of Fredericksburg and the later Battle of Chancellorsville, he was in charge of the brigade in which the 140th served. O'Rorke was temporarily promoted to brigade command from Jan. 1863 to June 1863. However, his life was to end tragically on July 2, 1863 at the famed Battle of Gettysburg. In an effort to defend the strategic Little Round Top, which if lost would had jeopardized the entire battle, O'Rorke led his 500 men in a charge over the crest of the hill and was killed after sustaining a bullet wound in the neck. He was 27 years old.
    Ironically, his forces were successful in defending the position, without which the Union forces would have been defeated in that important battle. The United Stated Military War Collage has rated that day's action on Little Round Top as the single most significant small unit action of the entire Civil War.
    Colonel O'Rorke was posthumously given another promotion, to brevet colonel, and cited by the U.S. Army for "gallant and meritous service, at all of the battles he was engaged in. was given a full military funeral and buried in the Catholic cemetery on Pinnacle Hill. When that cemetery closed, he was moved to Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Rochester. His wife Clara was devastated by his death and later entered the Sisterhood of the Sacred Heart.


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