Posted tagged ‘Heroes’


February 18, 2019

“With Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no rich or  poor,   no male or female, no slave or free . . . ..”

If in Black History Month we are supposed to honor great Blacks of the past . . .  then let’s see a few more:

My favorite man –

Pierre Toussant

He is Pierre Toussant.   A Catholic gentleman who lived from 1766 to 1853,  born a slave, was a reliable man of good character, learned a valued skilled trade, was eventually freed,  went into business for himself – but yet  not for himself and his wife and children alone —  he became the Founder of Catholic Charities  in the United States of America.

He relieved the suffering and ignorance of countless thousands of people in New York City.

(I started with more and have done less.)

I’ve written about him here at The Spruce Tunnel previously,   (Although now if you look him up elsewhere you may have to endure  atrocious anti-Trump rhetoric in some articles first, before you get down to the story of PIerre Toussant.)

You can read about his equally venerable wife, Juliet Noel, devoted to charitable works in New York City.

Bl Juliet Noel

Juliet Noel

A few of  their foundations and their charitable buildings still stand.    The life of these two people should be included among the great biographies of American history, although they are not being taught in our children’s textbooks.

Mother Mary Lange is another black woman in American History you should know:

Bl Mother Mary Lang

Born Elizabeth Clarisse Lange  (in Colonial Cuba — see the missionary work of St. Anthony Mary Claret), came to the United States in 1833, to South Carolina,  to Virginia,  then to Maryland,  and then opened free schools for Black children, with the encouragement of the Church.  Eventually she and a co-worker founded a new religious  order of women working   called the Oblate Sisters of Providence working with women and children in needy and poverty stricken situations,  teaching them all both faith and skilled work.

Bl Mother Mary Lang 2

(an early photograph of B. Mother Mary Lange)

(Their work still exists today, but I don’t know if they have been “modernized” into focusing on a more secularized “social justice.”   I hope not.  God is the foundation of  all justice.) 

Well,  that’s my contribution to Black History Month……

Of course the Catholic Church has many other “Black”  saints.

As St. Paul said,   “With Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no rich or  poor,   no male or female, no slave or free . . . ..”

All are equal in the dignity and worth that God gave us.



August 21, 2015

Will interrupt the Ten Commandments with a joyful and proud tribute to our United States Marines!

Dad in Dress BluesThere’s one.   There’s a Marine.   That’s my Dad in his dress blues.    Impossibly young!   He was eighteen years old, a year and a half before I was born.

Well, today in France young Marines just like him did a heroic deed, saving many, many lives on a high speed commuter train.  It happened here in Arras:

MAP Marines hero“Always faithful” to their … duty,  one of them noticed a nervous passenger going into the train’s restroom.  A minute or so later, he recognized the sound of a weapon being loading.  Now,  I wouldn’t know what that sounds like if you loaded your gun in front of me,  but these are highly trained young men — and alert.

What the young Marines heard was the sound of magazines being loaded into a Kalishnikov.  The nervous man came out of the bathroom,  raised the Kalishnikov and opened fire on the passengers.   The Marines jumped into action, and though they were both unarmed,  they tackled the gunman and pinned him to the floor until the train stopped and the French authorities took over.

A couple passengers were injured.

Marines feet outThe authorities said the action of these two Marines prevented what would have been a bloodbath.   And why not?   Citizens are not allowed to carry guns.  They are sitting ducks wherever they go.

As I said,  they probably saved “many, many lives.”  Here are the magazines on the floor which could have produced a real massacre:

Marines targetLots of ammunition!    One of the young Marines was shot in the neck as he brought the gunman down,  but he will most likely be all right.

Congratulations —  and thank you to all Marines.   You make our world safer!!

Semper Fi !

Oh –  the gunman’s name is:     Ayoub el-Qahzzani