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Come to the Shrine and pray for servicemen and women at the Annual Pilgrimage for the Sea Services on Sunday, October 6, 2019, in Emmitsburg. Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton is the Patroness of the Sea Services, which include the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and Public Health Service. The late Cardinal John J. O’Connor advocated for her designation as the Patroness of the Sea Services in 1977, when he served as the Navy Chief of Chaplains. The Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Michael C. Barber, SJ, the current Bishop of Oakland, California, and who also served for many years as a chaplain in the Naval Reserve.

“It will be a very special honor to have Bishop Barber, who recently retired from the Navy Chaplain Corps with his broad background of military service, join us for the annual Pilgrimage,” said retired Admiral William J. Fallon, chair of the Pilgrimage Sponsoring Committee. “Bishop Barber has served with our Navy and Marine Corps in many places around the world, including a deployment to the Middle East during the war in Iraq and also on aircraft carriers and with Marine units. He’s provided spiritual guidance to numerous deployed servicemen and women in a variety of circumstances, and we will be so pleased to welcome him to the Pilgrimage.”

“We’re grateful for all of the servicemen and women who’ve taken part in the Pilgrimage over the years,” said Rob Judge, executive director of the Seton Shrine. “It’s a prayerful and moving time for them to join with their family members and others in thanking Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton for her protection and to ask for her continued intercession on their behalf as they serve our country.”

The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, and a co-sponsor of the Pilgrimage said “This annual Pilgrimage for the Sea Services at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine is to be commended. With two sons serving in the Sea Services, Elizabeth Ann Seton is a fine example of sacrifice, service, and love for our country and its people.”

The Pilgrimage Mass will take place at 3:00 p.m. on October 6, in the Basilica at the Seton Shrine, located at 339 South Seton Avenue in Emmitsburg.

A complimentary dinner will be provided afterward to all in attendance. If you would like to attend, please contact Rob Judge at 301-447-6037 or through email at office@setonshrine.org.

by Jim Houck, Jr.

TINA MARIE REEVES

E-3 UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

Tina was born and raised in the Emmitsburg-Thurmont area until she was seventeen years old, then she joined the Marine Corps. She met her husband, Keith, who was also a marine at the time, and they went on to have a daughter they named, Kim. Tina, Keith, and Kim reside in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Tina has been Regional Commander of Nation of Patriots Riders Club for the past eight years. She raised $2,000 so far this year and helped out with the Flags for Vets, which is a non-profit organization that helps Veterans who want a flag pole in front of their home but cannot afford to put one up. Tina and the Patriot Riders went with the Flags for Vets group to Gallop, New Mexico, and chipped in to surprise a Veteran with a flag pole; her heart told her it was the right thing to do. Tina set up the ride, which consisted of about fifty riders. She called the man, Philip, and asked him to meet them at the Comfort Suites at Gallop. Philip asked Tina what the meeting was about; she told him they wanted to recognize people who supported Nation of Patriots. The Comfort Suites is managed by Veterans and friendly to all Veterans and had helped the Riders Club before. When Philip arrived, they were all eating pizza; they socialized for a while. Then, Tina got up to give her speech about “calling a Veteran this morning to make sure he would show up, and he said he would be here…” Tina said she watched Philip’s face as he realized she was talking about him. Tina called him to the front and presented him with a check for $2,025.

I talked with Tina’s sister, Valerie, one evening when she was tending bar at AMVETS Post 7 in Thurmont. Valerie knew that Tina and I had become friends when I interviewed her in 2016. She told me that Tina was coming to the area and that she would let me know when she arrived. “Please do,” I told Valerie. “I really would like to see her again.” I met Tina at AMVETS Post 7 and talked with her. I asked her if it would be okay to write a piece about her in my column, again, and she said sure. The first column I wrote about Tina can be found in the archives on The Catoctin Banner website at www.thecatoctinbanner.com; just click on October 2016 and go to page 36.

 

Thank you, TINA and Thank you, VAL!

 

EVERYONE HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.       GOD BLESS THE AMERICAN VETERAN       GOD BLESS YOU

On Saturday, May 20, 2017, family and friends gathered to help Eugene Zacharias (pictured right) celebrate his 100th birthday. “Zach” was born on May 18, 1917, just outside of Emmitsburg, and lived there until he joined the U.S. Marine Corps in early 1935. He served in the Marine Corps for over twenty years, rising to the rank of Master Sergeant. After he retired from the Marines, he went on to have a successful career with RCA. He has been married to Anna Kugler Zaracharias since 1949, and has two daughters, two grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

He is an around-the-world traveler and is still an avid reader. He also enjoys jigsaw puzzles. For years, he was a collector of antique and children’s sewing machines and was considered so knowledgeable that he was invited to give talks on the subject.

Zach is a Life Member of VFW Post 6658 of Emmitsburg, and his wife, Genevieve, is a Charter and Life Member of 6658 Post Auxiliary.

Zach’s party was held at Oakcrest Village, the retirement center just outside of Baltimore, where he has lived since late 2015. In addition to the well wishes of friends and family, Zach was remembered with a card or letter from Maryland’s Governor Hogan; Senator Cardin; Senator Ruppersberger; the Commandant of the USMC; and Brooks Robinson, the great Oriole third baseman who shares a birthday with him. A third-year midshipman from the U.S. Naval Academy was also on hand to congratulate Zach and thank him for his service.

Attending the party were Post 6658 Life Member, Tom Hoke, and his daughter, Becky, Auxiliary Post 6658 Member and Gloria Bauerline, Charter and Life Member Post 6658 Auxiliary.

by Jim Houck, Jr.

Lance Corporal Paul Joseph Humerick

U.S. Marine Corps

Born at Annie M. Warner Hospital in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in June of 1947, was a son to Paul E. and Ida G. (Brawner) Humerick. They named him Paul Joseph and gave him the nickname “Sonny.” Paul and Ida took Sonny home to Emmitsburg, where they resided in a house on North Seton Avenue. This is where Sonny spent his entire childhood. He said it was the best of all places to grow up. Right below his house ran Flat Run creek, where he and his friends could go wading and fishing, and there were nearby woods to hunt mushrooms. They had many fields to run and play in. All-in-all, Sonny had a very happy childhood growing up in Emmitsburg.

Sonny said he had two very close friends that he grew up with: Mike Shorb and Billy Weidner. Sonny had a part-time job during the summers mowing grass out by Natural Dam and helping his dad mow at the Sharpe farm. This gave him a little spending money, and Sonny, Mike, and Billy could hardly wait until the week’s end to go and listen to Wayne Sanders’ band play some rock and roll music. Wayne Sanders had a rock and roll band called “Dwayne and the Sounds” and was the hometown entertainment; they had a lot of local followers. When Sonny turned sixteen, he was at the Tropical Treat in Taneytown, where Dwayne and the Sounds were playing. There, he met Linda Wetzel; and, although he knew Linda’s brother, he did not know her. They hit it off that night, and that marked the beginning of a fifty-four-year relationship, married fifty-one of those years. They got married the April 15, 1966. Sonny says he kinda took a “liking to her” and she kinda took a “liking to him.” I would think it was kinda more like a “loving to each other.” What do you think?

In February of 1966, Sonny got a notice from the Draft Board to report to Fort Holibird in Baltimore. Sonny, Denny Staley, and Leroy Shealey were all on the bus to Fort Holibird. Leroy passed the physical, but Sonny and Denny did not. So, they put Sonny and Denny in a big room—about the size of two basketball stadiums combined—and a sergeant came in and walked up and down and looked them over and said, “I’m going to tell you right now, you have thirty days to take care of any business you have, because the Army has you.” Well, Sonny and Linda had plans of getting married in April; they also had a piece of ground cleared and were planning on building a house. When Sonny got home from Holibird, he told Linda and his mom and dad that he had been drafted and he was going in the Army; it wasn’t his choosing but that was the way it was. Sonny said that a few weeks later he received some papers from the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps that said “congratulations, you were accepted in the military.” He explained that the Marine Corps had a ninety-day plan, and that meant that if he joined, then he wouldn’t have to go for three months. That meant one thing to Sonny: he could still get married. So, Sonny and a friend of his, Johnny Eckenrode (who worked with Sonny at the Provincial House), decided to go to Frederick and join the Marines. The recruiter sent them back to Fort Holibird for another physical and, from there, they were sent to Gay and Lombard street to be sworn in. That was on the March 3, 1966, when he became a Jarhead, and he was going to wait to get married in April. Johnny didn’t want to wait, so he volunteered for Vietnam and went in right away. When it was time for Sonny to leave, he went from Baltimore to Georgia, and then arrived at Parris Island on June 2, at 2:00 a.m. The drill instructor got on the bus and was talking to the driver and then turned to Sonny and the rest of the recruits. Sonny said you never saw such a commotion, with forty-five guys trying to get out of that little bus door at one time. Sonny remembers thinking to himself “What in the world am I doing here?” He made it through boot camp and got twenty days of leave, so he went home. After his twenty days of leave at home, he was sent to Camp Lejeune for Infantry Training; in the meantime, he had a MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) as a cook. He was sent to Camp Gardner and went through cook school. Sonny was then shipped to Camp Pendelton in San Diego, California, where he spent his entire Marine career; he was Honorably Discharged from there. Sonny got to visit several of his friends and relatives while at Camp Pendelton: his cousin, Jerry Wagerman; friend, Johnny Knott; friend, Jimmy Wastler; and friend, Phil Mort. Sonny and Linda never had a honeymoon, and he really missed her and his mother and father, so he was very happy to be going home.

After he arrived back home, he went back to work at the Provincial House, where he worked before he joined the Marines, and remained there for forty-seven years.

Sonny is now retired, and he and Linda are still living on the mountain and are very happy with their family-life. They have two children: Stacy and Stephanie. Stacy has a son and a daughter, Zachary and Samantha; and Stephanie has a son, Riley. Sonny regrets that his parents didn’t survive long enough to meet their great-grandchildren; he lost his mother in 1972 and his father in 1992.

Linda and Sonny still go to the Rock and Roll dances at the Ambulance Building in Emmitsburg. They are active and love to get out and about! So, if you meet them at Jubilee or anywhere around the neighborhood, say “Hi” and thank Sonny for his service.

I really enjoyed the little chat I had with Sonny and Linda. I tried to get Linda to put her two cents worth in, but she was not having any of it.

They are the perfect example of a very happy couple and family, who stay positive and enjoy their lives together

God Bless the United States of America, God Bless the U.S. Veteran, and God Bless You.

Lance Corporal Paul Joseph Humerick, United States Marine Corps.

Cameron Rogers

Members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and Public Health Services were recognized at the annual Pilgrimage for the Sea Services Mass on October 2, 2016, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., and son of a ship captain, celebrated the Mass. It was organized, among others, by retired Adm. William Fallon. Hymns were sung by the Catholic Choir from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

The story of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who converted after traveling to Italy with her ailing husband, is familiar. The widow underwent many hardships, but founded the Sisters of Charity, schools and orphanages. She died in 1821 and was canonized as the first American-born saint in 1975.

Less well known is that two of her sons, Richard and William, served on the USS Cyane and USS Macedonian, respectively. Her devotion to them led then-Monsignor John O’Connor, a former Navy admiral and chaplain who would go on to become the cardinal of the Archdiocese of New York, to lead the effort to have her named “Patroness of the Sea” in the late 1970s.

Admiral Fallon, whose education includes a Catholic high school in New Jersey and Villanova University, said Mother Seton’s work and entombment at the shrine that bears her name made it a natural location for the acknowledgement of those who serve at sea.

“They face a lot of dangers,” he said, of the U.S. armed forces. “It’s good to pay tribute to them.”

During his homily, similarly, Cardinal McCarrick spoke of Mother Seton’s dedication to her sons in the Navy, and praised the service of the men and women in the armed forces.

“I see a group of people who love their country,” he said. “We are not alone in wanting peace around the world.”

Almost every pew in the shrine’s basilica was occupied. A Joint Ceremonial Color Guard led the opening procession, and remained at attention for the National Anthem. The Knights of Columbus Brute Council 1860, based in Emmitsburg, also participated in the Mass.

Afterward, worshipers conversed while enjoying a courtesy dinner provided by the shrine’s staff.

James Cotter of Vienna, Va., retired U.S. Air Force, came on a bus with other pilgrims. He described the Mass as “wonderful” and expressed his enthusiasm for seeing Cardinal McCarrick.

“It’s a really good ceremony, it always has been,” said Michael Weaver, an Army veteran from Gettysburg, Pa., who attended with his daughter, Michelle. “Mother Seton kind of brought the religion to the region.”

Joy and John Murray, a couple from Lanham, said that they thought the Pilgrimage Mass was “beautiful.” They come to the shrine every year for it.

“I really enjoyed it,” said Michelle Rodriguez, who went to the Mass with her father Michael. “It’s interesting to be able to walk around the places a saint walked.”

Carol Birzer, a Navy veteran, spoke highly of the Catholic Choir from the Naval Academy, which had not sung in the previous Pilgrimage for the Sea Masses she had attended at the shrine.

“It’s nice knowing we had a saint here,” said Birzer, of the grounds where Mother Seton she lived and taught.

Tony DiIulio, the program director at the shrine, said he hoped the site’s beauty and history continue to draw people.

“I see (Mother Seton) as a model parent,” he said. “I also think, for anyone who has hard times, she’s a model on how to remain faithful and committed to the Lord.”

Copyright © 2015 Catholic Review Media. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Allison Rostad

It has been said before that true heroes never die. These words were proven during a memorial for Marine Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell of North Carolina. Cpl. Ferrell grew to call the Thurmont community his second family, as he was assigned to the naval support facility at Camp David.

On September 29, 2015, Ferrell was a victim of a hit-and-run while pulled over on Route 15 north bound to lend his assistance to a stranded motorist in a heavy rain storm.

On the morning of June 11, 2016, just four months shy of one year since Ferrell’s death, the Thurmont community, along with Ferrell’s family, friends, and his North Carolina hometown community, gathered for a dedication ceremony at Memorial Park in Thurmont, hosted by the Thurmont American Legion.

During the ceremony, guest speaker, David Wood, expressed with admiration, “That day, Cpl. Ferrell wasn’t ordered to pull over and help, but he did what any non-commissioned officer of the Marine Corps does: He led by example.”

This same notion echoed through every word spoken about Ferrell during the ceremony.

Congressional Candidate Daniel Cox said, “We understand that this Marine is a hero, because not only did he serve when not required to, he paid the ultimate sacrifice for it.”

Prior to the completion of the ceremony, a pin oak tree had been planted and dedicated to Ferrell in Memorial Park, along with a new highway sign revealed, dedicating the Catoctin Furnace Trail footbridge to Ferrell in honor of his selflessness, kindness, and dedication to helping those in need. His parents, Dan and Donna Ferrell, were also given a smaller, exact replica of the dedication sign to be taken home with them to Carthage, North Carolina.

Following the ceremony, a pig roast was held at the American Legion, from which all proceeds were donated to the Carthage Police Department in North Carolina, in Ferrell’s name.

Just as Emily Potter once said, “Heroes never die. They live on forever in the hearts and minds of those who would follow in their footprints,” so will Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell live on eternally in the hearts and minds of his loved ones, the Thurmont community, and those who travel Route 15 northbound through Thurmont.

Photos by Allison Rostad
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Sgt. Tyler Bergeron, who served with Cpl. Ferrell, presents Cpl. Ferrell’s parents, Dan and Donna Ferrell, a scale replica of the dedicated footbridge sign.
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The sign reveal for the Catoctin Furnace Trail footbridge that spans across Rt. 15, in honor of Cpl. William Kyle Ferrell.