Four Chaplain's Day Celebration

February 6, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Illinois Wesleyan's University Chapel Hour and Special Events and Services will present a Four Chaplain's Day Celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. in Evelyn Chapel (1301 N. Park St., Bloomington).  The service is free and open to the public.

The story of the four chaplains is celebrated every year in the beginning of February to honor Rabbi Alexander Goode, Rev. Clark V. Poling, Father John P. Washington and Rev. George L. Fox, an IWU alum.  The four military chaplains gave their lives in World War II while serving on the U.S.A.T. Dorchester, a military transport ship traveling from New York to Greenland, when on February 3, 1943, the ship was hit by torpedoes.  Offering everything they had, including their own life preservers, the chaplains led the frightened and chaotic soldiers to safety.  They prayed, sang and encouraged those around them even into their final minutes, with one survivor remembering, "It was the finest thing I have ever seen this side of heaven."

Rev. Howard Bruce Bowlin, rector of the St. Matthew's Episcopal church in Bloomington, is organizing the event.  He has a master of divinity degree from The Protestant Episcopal Seminary in Alexandria, Va. and served in the Marine Corps for over 20 years as head of the music staff of the US Marine Corps Band.

For additional information, contact the Dean of Students Office at (309) 556- 3111.

  Contact: Meg Dubuque, (309) 556-3181