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McBRIDE family information

(non-graduate) William James McBRIDE

Born 21 May 1913 to William and Cora McBRIDE; appears in 1920 census. Died age 9 on 15 Dec 1922 at Sandpoint ID.

1939 Mary Muriel McBRIDE

Born 29 Sep 1920 at Cd'A to William Lawrence and Cora G (O'RORKE) McBRIDE. Graduated University of Idaho in 1943, and later earned a masters at Case Western Reserve. Married Joseph W HUBBARD on 13 Jun 1959 at Cheney WA. Later divorced. Worked as a Dietician in Spokane area. Mother of Veronica Anne (HUBBARD)(Joseph) O'NEIL. Mary died 3 Aug 2008 at Spokane WA. See obituary, below.

(non-graduate) John Patrick McBRIDE, SJ

Born 1925 to William and Cora McBRIDE. He graduated HS in May 1943, then enlisted in the Army on 26 Jun 1943 at Spokane, and served in the 75th Infantry Division at the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. He graduated from Gonzaga U in 1949. He was commissioned in the Regular Army as a 2nd Lieutenant through ROTC, and served with the 7th Cavalry in the Korean conflict, where he was wounded in action. In 1952, he joined the Society of Jesus, and served as a parish priest in Fairbanks AK and Woodburn OR. He later was a chaplain in federal prisons, and then at Providence Hospital, Portland. See a biographical article (below) from the 9 Nov 2007 Catholic Sentinel, Portland OR.


M c B R I D E

About 1881, John and Mary (WYNNE) McBRIDE emigrated from County Sligo,Ireland to the USA with at least one child.

In 1892, John and Mary McBRIDE lived at 208 E 9th, Cheyenne, Wyoming. --city directory, 1892.

In 1900, William L McBRIDE, 16, lived with his parents in Phelps county, Missouri. The family comprised: John McBRIDE, 51, b 2 Feb 1849 Ireland, married 23 years, owns and farms, no mortgage; wife Mary, b Jan 1856 Ireland, immig 1881, six births, 5 living; son James J, b Sep 1878 Ireland; son John P, b Apr 1882 WY; son William L, b Nov 1883 WY; Thomas L, b Jul 1885 WY; dau Mary E, b Sep 1891 WY; and mother-in-law Mary WYNNE, b 1820, widowed, 1 birth. --7 Jun 1900, Rolla twp, ED107 p3B.

John McBRIDE died 7 Nov 1907 in Phelps Co MO. His will, dated 3 Jun 1907, names his children, specifies the homestead near Rolla MO, and was witnssed by Flossie WYNN [probably a sister-in-law]. It appears his mother-in-law Mary WYNNE had already died in March 1907, based on a gravestone showing Mary WYNNE and John McBRIDE, and the will, above, showing wife Mary still alive in June 1907. (see links below)

In 1910, William McBRIDE, 25 WY, was a sawmill worker, living in Spokane. --3 May 1910 Spokane ward 2, ED163 p14A [98]. William L McBRIDE married Cora O'RORKE on 8 Jan 1912 at St Thomas parish, Coeur d'Alene.

On 11 Sep 1918, William Lawrence McBRIDE enrolled for the military draft at Bonners Ferry. He lived at 719 W Garden, Cd'A, with Cora, and was a locomotive engineer on the Spokane Int'l Railway.

In 1920, William and Cora lived with Cora's parents at 719 W Garden Ave, Cd'A. The family comprised: Eugene O'RORKE, 66 MI (parents b Ireland), boat builder, own home without mortgage; wife Anna, 58 Canada (parents b Ireland), immigrated 1885; son Bartley C, 28 MI, motorman in mine; dau Veronica E P, 19 WI; son-in-law William L McBRIDE, 35 WY (parents b Ireland), railroad fireman; daughter, Cora G McBRIDE, 32 WI; grandson William J McBRIDE, 6 ID. --10 Jan 1920 Cd'A ward 1, ED204 p7B. Mary Muriel '39 McBRIDE was born in this home on 29 Sep 1920.

In 1926, William and Cora moved the family to Bridesville, British Columbia, where they farmed until 1945.

from 1934 to 1939, Mary was a boarding student at IHM Academy, Cd'A.

On 15 October 1945, William (age 61y 11mo, 6'0"), and Cora McBRIDE left Bridesville BC and returned to the US to reside permanently, joining their daughter Mary '39 McBRIDE at Cd'A. William reported his birth as 4 Nov 1883 in Cheyenne WY. --Border crossing manifest, Laurier WA

William L McBRIDE, born 11 Nov 1883, died 17 Mar 1955 at Cd'A. Cora, b Oct 1887, died 21 Nov 1956. Both are buried in St Thomas cemetery.

O ' R O R K E

Cora O'RORKE was born in Oct 1887 in Wisconsin to Eugene and Anna (GOODYEAR) O'RORKE. She married William Lawrence McBRIDE on 8 Jan 1912 at Coeur d'Alene. Cora died 21 Nov 1956 in Spokane WA.

In 1900, the O'RORKE family lived in Marinette county, Wisconsin, and comprised: Eugene O'RORKE, 46, b Jun 1853 CAN, married 14 years, immigrated 1880, naturalized; wife Anna (GOODYEAR), 36, b Mar 1864 CAN, 4 births and living children, immigrated 1880; daughter Cora, 12, b Oct 1887 WI; son Raymond, 10, b Dec 1889 MI; son Bartley, 9, b Mar 1891 MI; daughter Veronica, 8mo, b Oct 1899 WI. --20 Jun 1900, Amberg twp, Marinette Co WI ED126 p11B

On 26 Jun 1906, Anna O'RORKE obtained patent on 2.21 acres (lot 38) in Kootenai County, in the Fort Grounds area.

On 4 Nov 1909, Eugene O'RORKE obtained patent to 138.65 acres in Kootenai county, on the SE corner of Hayden Lake.

In 1910, the O'RORKE family lived at 17 W Foster Ave, Cd'A, and comprised: Eugene O'RORKE, 56 MI (parents b Ireland), house carpenter, married 23 years, owns home without mortgage; wife Anna, 46 CAN (parents b Ireland), 7 births, 4 living; daughter Cora, 21, born Michigan, bank stenographer; son Raymond, 20 MI; son Bartley, 17 MI; daughter Veronica, 10 Wisconsin. --6 May 1910 Cd'A ward 1, ED173 p24A.

In 1920, the family lived in the Fort Grounds area; see 1920 in the McBRIDE section, above.

In 1930, Bartley C O'RORKE, 39 MI, was a motorman in a lead mine, and lived in Mace, Shoshone county, with his wife Lavina (34 OK) and step-daughter Iris, 15 OK. Bartley and Lavina HOGUE married on 3 Oct 1927 at Sandpoint ID.

Anna O'RORKE, born Mar 1864, died 22 Feb 1928, and is buried with son Bartley in St Thomas cemetery. Bartley O'RORKE, born 9 May 1891, died 7 Mar 1965. His headstone reports he was an army private in the 316th Ammunition Train brigade from Ft Lewis in WW 1.

Eugene O'RORKE, born June 1853 in Canada, died 23 June 1937 at Bridesville BC, at age 93, probably while living with his daughter, Cora (William) McBRIDE. Burial place unknown.


Mary (McBRIDE '39) HUBBARD, 1920 ~ 2008

Spokesman-Review, 10 Aug 2008
Mary (McBRIDE) HUBBARD, 87, returned her gentle soul to the Lord on Saturday, August 2nd with her daughter Veronica Anne cradled arms about her body. She had one good day when she was in the hospital, then she became confused, and was moved to the Hospice Care Unit at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane. She had fallen at home and was transported by ambulance to the hospital. On Saturday her nurse felt that her condition was deteriorating so her son-in-law Joe and grandson Danny accompanied Veronica to say their goodbyes. Anne stayed with her throughout the day, freshening with her favorite French perfume, playing her favorite Irish music, reading Scripture, praying the rosary, sharing recipes from her favorite writers Julia Child and Charles Beard, sharing articles from the Washington Post written by David Broder, soothing her hands and arms with lotion, then lying beside her with her hand on her heart, she felt the ebbing rhythm and then, she was gone. She went out in style, grace and love.

She was born in her grandparent's home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on September 29, 1920. It was a stately home having been a former officer's home in the now closed Fort Sherman, located on a block overlooking Military Drive. Her childhood years were spent on a family cattle ranch located on the northern edge of the Okanogan Valley high above that forested hills of Osoyoos in a small cattle village named Bridesville, British Columbia. It was small: a one room country school with twelve students at the most, a post office, a mixed grocery and variety store, a customs and immigration office, Great Northern train depot, a hotel with attached beer parlor and dance hall. She rode to school on a small, gentle grey pony. Her father would always bring the saddled horse to the kitchen steps so that she avoided walking in the barn yard. She was the first from our side of the mountain to attend high school, having been a four-year boarder girl at the Sisters Academy in Coeur d'Alene.

She graduated from the University of Idaho in 1943 with a BS in Home Economics. She taught in the St Maries and Coeur d'Alene High School. She returned to the University as Moscow for a year of dietetic studies and completed a year of dietetic internship at St Mary's Hospital/May Clinic, Rochester MN. She served as director of food services at the COG and Jesuit faculty at Gonzaga University.

As a single mother she completed studies for a Masters Degree in Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. She returned to Spokane and worked over fifteen years with the Spokane County Health Department and established the WIC program, a nutrition program for at risk mothers, infants and children. She has served as past president of the Washington State Dietetic Association and was co-founder of the Coeur d'Alene Chapter of the Catholic Daughters of America (Our Lady of the Lake Court #1447, Catholic Daughters of the Americas).

She raised her daughter Veronica Anne to become a leader in special education and was a loving friend and mentor for her son-in-law Joe O'NEIL and grandson Daniel Patrick O"NEIL. Throughout all of the roadblocks of daily living she was person of great faith and trust in the providence of God that watches over at the turn of every road. No small trip for the girl from the one room country school. A memorial Mass will be held Wednesday September 10 at 11:10 AM in the Jesuit Chapel at Gonzaga University. A luncheon will follow at Gonzaga's Regis House. SPOKANE CREMATION & BURIAL SERVICE, 2832 N RUBY, SPOKANE, WA. Cremains buried on her mother's grave in St Thomas cemetery, Coeur d'Alene.

Anna (GOODYEAR) O'RORKE, 1863 - 1928
Cora (O'RORKE) McBRIDE, 1887 - 1956
William Lawrence McBRIDE, 1883 - 1955
William James McBRIDE, age 9, 1913-1922
Mary Muriel ('39 McBRIDE) HUBBARD, 1920 - 2008

Rolla Cemetery, Phelps Co Missouri:
John McBRIDE, 1849 - 1907
Mary ( ) WYNNE, d Mar 1907, same stone as John McBRIDE.


from Phelps County Missouri Will Book A & B - pages 572-574, dated 3 June 1907

In the Name of God Amen.
I, John McBride, age 58 years, being in sound and disposing mind and realizing the uncertainty of life and desiring to dispose of my property while living, do make and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made.

1. It is my desire that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid out of personal estate as soon after my death as may be convenient for my hereinafter named executor so to do.

II. I give devise and bequeath to each of my children whose names are as follows: James McBride, John McBride, William McBride, Thomas McBride and Mary Ellen McBride, the sum of one ($1.00) dollar to be paid to them by my here in after named executor as soon after my death as possible.

III. I give devise and bequeath to my beloved wife, Mary McBride, all of my property that I may be seized of including the farm on which I now live, two and one half miles west of Rolla on Little Beaver Creek, Also all of my personal property of every kind and description, including live stock, farming implements, money, notes and all other property of every kind and description to have and to hold unto her, my said wife, for and during her natural life, and at her death it is my will that all of the property left shall be divided among my above named children, equally. It is my will, however, that should it become necessary for my wife to sell and dispose of the personal property that she shall have a perfect right to do so for her maintenance. and when said personal property shall be exhausted if it should become further necessary for her to raise funds for her support, I hereby give her full power to sell and dispose of the homestead above mentioned and described as follows towit: The half of the south west quarter of section nine (9) and the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter section eight township Thirty seven (37) range eight (8) containing 121 acres.

Reposing confidence in my son James McBride I here nominate and appoint him my executor of this my last will and testament, and to see that the terms of my will are carried out according to my wishes. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 3rd day of June A.D. 1907.
John (X) McBride
Witness to mark: W C Jones, Flossie Wynn
We, the undersigned do hereby certify that we were present and saw John McBride sign his name to the above and foregoing instrument of writing which he declared to us to be his last will and testament, that we signed the same as witnesses at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other. Witness our hands this 3rd day June A.D. 1907. W. C. Jones, and Flossie Wynn.

Proof of Will
State of Missouri, County of Phelps ss. In Probate Court.

Be it remembered that on the 23rd day of November A.D. 1907 personally appeared before George A. Skyles, Judge of Probate of the county and state aforesaid, W. C. Jones one of the subscribing witnesses to the annexed will of John McBride deceased and being by me first duly sworn, depose and say that the said John McBride the testator subscribed the same in his presence and published said will or instrument of writing as his last will. That he the said testator was at time of publishing said will of sound mind and more than 21 years of age. And that said deponent attested said as witness thereto by subscribing his name to the same in the presence and at the request of said testator. W. C. Jones.

In witness whereof, I, George A. Skyles Judge of Probate court of Phelps county have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed the seal of said court at office in Rolla, Missouri this 23rd day of November 1907. George A. Skyles, Judge of Probate.

(Certificate of Probate and another Proof of will exist.)

9 Nov 2007 Catholic Sentinel article about John P McBRIDE SJ

Digging foxholes to elevating the Host — a veteran’s tale

by Ed Langlois

It is the feast of Corpus Christi, 1945. In a church in northwest Germany, Corporal John McBride unloads his rifle and leaves it in the pew. Haggard, he makes his way to the Communion rail and kneels, receiving the Body of Christ next to German factory workers and shopkeepers. Three weeks earlier, they had been the enemy.

Now it is autumn 2007, almost Veterans Day. Jesuit Father John McBride, 82, pushes a frail woman’s wheelchair into her room at Laurelhurst Village care center in Portland. Though his gait is not as steady as when a young soldier, his mind is keen. By contrast, the woman’s uncertain memory ranges where it will. The priest listens patiently and she seems grateful. He gently anoints her hands and places the Body of Christ on her tongue with steady fingers.

“I’m a great believer in pastoral care,” the gray-haired Jesuit says. “Whoever your troops are, you take care of them.”

After helping liberate Europe in the closing months of World War II, Corporal McBride would return to the Pacific Northwest and get a degree at Gonzaga University. When soldiers were needed for Korea, he would join up, leading troops into battle as a lieutenant. Caring for his wounded men, it occurred to him that he could help people even more if he were a priest.

Born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, he grew up on a cattle ranch in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. He learned to tend cattle and brave the elements. His parents prayed the rosary each evening. The nearby town boasted a beer parlor, a one-room school and a post office.

War broke out when John McBride was a young teen. He yearned to serve. He did not so much thirst for adventure, he says, as sense a call to duty. He graduated from high school in May 1943 and by July, before he had time to visit a recruiter, he was drafted and inducted. As 1944 was waning, he was a Private First Class, riding a landing craft across the English Channel headed for the northern shore of France. He was 19. In a muddy field near Le Havre, Private McBride showed his buddies the old ranch-hand way of bedding down in hay.

It had been six months since D-Day. The Allies were driving the German Army east out of France and Belgium. Optimism was in the air. Private McBride and other soldiers expected a vigorous move into Germany. But a horrendous battle was yet to come.

The German code had been cracked. But in mid-December, a furious Nazi offensive centered on the Ardennes Forest at the Belgian borderlands caught the Allies off guard. The Nazis’ aim was to capture Antwerp, surround British and U.S. positions, and then push for a favorable peace accord.

The Germans, safely lodged in the woods, used a relentless artillery barrage to shove a salient at one spot in the long Allied line. On maps in newspapers worldwide, that created a bulge back west into Belgium, giving the battle its popular moniker.

Into this crisis came Private McBride and other green troops from the 75th Infantry Division. Two regiments from another U.S. division were forced to surrender. The more experienced soldiers gave the young men one piece of advice: “Keep your a-- low.”

The troops had been carried by boxcar and truck to the front. Unmanned German buzz bombers were flying overhead and dropping randomly. German artillery from the forest filled the air and landed with fatal thuds. U.S. artillery fired back, a sound that made McBride feel hopeful.

His rifle unit fought skirmishes, tried to advance foot by foot, and sought to capture German soldiers as a way to extract information about enemy positions and plans. For more than a week, thick and low clouds kept the Allied air forces from giving support.

“An infantry platoon’s war is three hundred yards in front of you,” Father McBride explains. “You hear very little about anyone else. There is very little information about the master plan.”

It was cold and dangerous. The company scout was killed and a handful of Private McBride’s buddies were hurt, including one who lost an eye.

The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest single event of World War II for U.S. forces. Fighting would claim 19,000 American lives.

“Once bullets are fired, you’re not afraid,” Father McBride says. “The adrenalin kicks in. Until the adrenalin kicks in, you’re shi--ing your pants.”

On Christmas Day, the fog finally cleared. Torrents of B-17 bombers flew to hit the German positions, a supreme relief to the pinned-down American troops.

Later in the day, the planes flew back, many of them dotted with bullet holes and sporting shredded tail fins. “Some of them were just getting by,” Father McBride recalls.

By the end of January, the Allies had regained the lost ground and were pushing toward Berlin.

The recent Ken Burns documentary on World War II included a section on the Battle of the Bulge. A Jesuit confrere sent a note to Father McBride joking that he saw him in the old footage. “We all looked alike,” Father McBride answered in an email. “Dirty, haggard and cold.”

Once the tide turned in the Ardennes, Private McBride’s company was moved south by rail to a town near Strasbourg. There, he was promoted to corporal. On guard duty one night, he saw the sky light up with anti-aircraft fire and witnessed the downing of one of the first German jet aircraft. Had the Luftwaffe been able to develop more of the jets, the outcome of the war may have changed.

“My company was chosen to handle situations that needed attention,” Father McBride says.

The next stop was the Netherlands, where after the largest Allied air attack he ever witnessed, his unit crossed the Rhine the day after his 20th birthday. The troops liberated the medieval frontier city of Venlo. They then pushed into Germany.

The battered unit was given a rest in balmy southern France, where chefs simmered canned meat rations in cognac and wine flowed freely. Father McBride recalls the warm bath and soft bed as heavenly. Flowered hills surrounded Nice. He purchased bottles of perfume to bring back to the girls in his high school class.

By April, there was little German opposition left. Surrender came in May. Not long after, news arrived that Private McBride and others would go on a 30-day leave to the U.S. They shipped out. In New York, sultry actress Marlena Dietrich met the returning troops and ended up sitting briefly on Corporal McBride’s broad shoulder.

He was to be among the first waves in a land invasion of Japan, which everyone knew would be perilous. At his parents’ ranch in August 1945, news came that Japan had surrendered.

There were reports of a new kind of U.S. bomb that had forced the issue.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he says of the war’s end. He left the Army in November 1945 and by the start of 1946 was enrolled at Gonzaga University on the G.I. Bill. He and hundreds of other men walked to classes in their fading pea coats and fatigue jackets. He recalls how professors like Jesuit Father Cliff Carroll could make even economics seem exciting.

Memories of battles faded. At the same time, he recalled the hard realities of war. U.S. soliders on the move would temporarily kick civilians out of their houses and move in, raiding the larders and wine cellars.

Most of all, he recalled his fellow soldiers, the ones who would have risked their lives for him. “Your buddies carry you through,” he says. “You’re all together. You’re doing the thing.”

With that in mind, he joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps. He graduated, along with the first women students at Gonzaga, and then signed on to go to Korea, where tensions had flared with the Communists. He was now a second lieutenant, guiding a platoon of 40 men whose former leader had been killed. As a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, he had high status among the troops, even though he was only five or six years older. He was firm and demanding, because he knew his men’s lives depended on it. But he showed compassion and care.

“You don’t eat until your troops are fed,” he says. “You don’t bed down until your troops are bedded down.”

Whenever there was free time, he prayed the rosary. The black was worn off his beads.

In mid-October, 1950, his unit was part of the battle to hold the port city of Pusan. The company commander had already been killed and Lieutenant McBride had to step up. The troops were advancing at night. Flares would illuminate the sky to give a view of enemy positions. The Yanks were supposed to hit the ground when the lights went up, so the enemy would not pick them up in their sights. Liuetenant McBride was tired of eating dirt, so kept walking. That’s when a North Korean mortar shell hit.

Witnesses say that if he had been on the ground, he would have died. As it was, shrapnel and dirt caught him in the face and gave him a concussion. The medic who came to his aid dragged him into a ravine and provided cover with his own body. The sky continued to flash.

As he lay there, the groggy Lieutenant McBride could well have thought of the wounded men he had helped. He had written letters home to parents whose sons had died. Or maybe, flashing through his mind like snapshots, were images of camaraderie in a military unit.

Perhaps he felt the worn rosary stuffed in his pocket. He thought of life as a priest and belonging to another kind of company. Days later, in a hospital, an Army nurse took the bar off of her own uniform and pinned it to his pajamas. He had been promoted to first lieutenant. A chaplain came by to hear his confessions. When the priest asked if he was sorry for his sins, the young lieutenant answered, “Hell, yes.”

After he recovered, he had time in Tokyo to wander and think. Commanders assigned him as aide to young U.S. Sen. Warren Magnuson of Washington state, who was in Japan trying to sign maritime and fishing treaties with the defeated power. U.S. interests had pushed for no rights for Japan, but Lieutenant McBride heard Magnuson remind them of the Treaty of Versailles, which showed that nations who lose wars must be able to make a living, lest worse things come. He accompanied Magnuson in meetings with the likes of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Chiang Kai Shek.

He left the Army for good in 1952 and soon had plans to enter the Jesuits. His father wept for joy at the decision. After ordination in 1961, he was a high school teacher and pastor in Fairbanks, Alaska, and a retreat leader in Portland.

He was a parish priest in Woodburn before answering the call to work in a federal prison, a ministry he would carry out through the 1970s and 80s. Like a soldier, he says, a prison chaplain often needs to possess and teach the art of patience. He became highly respected among guards and prisoners alike, using the same firm but compassionate leadership he employed on the battlefield. He broke up fights and defused riots.

“You can’t just wear a white hat,” he explains. “You have to follow regulations. But you can still be humane.” He saw to it that Muslims and prisoners of all kinds of other faiths “got a fair shake.” He retired, as regulations for certain federal employees require once they hit many years of service.

From 1991 to 2003, Father McBride was a chaplain at Providence Portland Medical Center. He then started work at three Providence Elderplace sites and Laurelhurst Village.

Not long ago, he met a man at the retirement home who had been a Marine in World War II. The man’s son had also become a Marine and had been killed in Vietnam. The father had never learned the specifics of the death, something Father McBride knows is vital for spiritual and emotional health.

“He was grieving and grieving and grieving,” the priest explains.

Father McBride wrote to the Marines and searched out the son’s company commander. Back came a three-page letter describing the chaotic battle situation and the death. It was a comfort to get some certainty.

In 1984, on the 40th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, Father McBride went back to the Ardennes for commemorations. He met several of the men he knew and they searched for the spot where they spent that cold Christmas in 1944.

It was hard to find. What had been a surreal scape of rubble and dead animals was by 1984 covered with trees and houses.

There, he met a man from Venlo in the Netherlands. When he told the fellow he had helped liberate Venlo in 1945, the man embraced him with tears in his eyes.

The friendships forged in the hell of war stand out in the aging priest’s memories. His best friend, a New York City fire chief, had always called him “the hick from Idaho.” Father McBride recalls with great pleasure when his old platoon leader asked him to preside at a daughter’s wedding.

Most of his Battle of the Bulge buddies are dead now and fragile health has kept him from attending reunions of the 75th.

One man who served as an 18-year-old private in Lieutenant McBride’s platoon in Korea calls the priest one of the best men he’s ever known.

“He is more than just a soldier to me, he’s a saint,” says Richard Shields, a 76-year-old retired mail carrier who lives in Oshkosh, Wis.

Though Lieutenant McBride relentlessly kept his men in order, and the men chafed at times, Shields is convinced that the priest saved many troops from being killed. The combat tips, tempered in the Ardennes in 1944, included digging deep foxholes, keeping feet healthy and ducking heads low. It all came in handy because the fighting in Korea was rough.

“I was so grateful to come out of there alive and I give him great credit for that,” Shields says. Somehow, the retired mailman recalls, Lieutenant McBride was tough and compassionate simultaneously. He would make sure everyone had food and a good place to sleep.

At reunions of the Seventh Cavalry, Custer’s old outfit, Shields came to admire Father McBride even more as he learned about the priest’s ministry in parishes, prisons and hospitals.

“I’ve seen a lot of commanders,” Shields says. “Father McBride is the very best.”

At a dinner table in the Portland Jesuit residence where Father McBride lives, the priest admits that he is in the “twilight” of his life. Though his years in the military were short by comparison to the rest of his life, they loom large on his list of satisfactions.

“I served my country in wartime and I helped liberate Europe,” he says, placing a flat hand gently on the tabletop. “To me, that is very special. I had the responsibility of leading American troops in combat. That was a privilege.”

--2007, Catholic Sentinel

21 Nov 2009; 22 Nov 2014; 16 Nov 2015