Letters and journals are used to tell the story,“The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir,” which is set in a small village in England in the early days of World War II, when many of the men have left to join the war effort.
Sgt. Louis DeSimone, a 22-year-old translator of Italian attached to the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Army experienced all the tragedies of WW II to become a priest and then bishop for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Imagine St. Paul, Isaiah or Jeremiah — any key prophetic figure — with a brother or close companion, one who could be a support and encouragement at times when life got rough. Whether or not you see Phil and Dan Berrigan, one who was a Josephite priest and later married and the other a Jesuit priest, as prophetic against the politics of war in the last half of the 20th century or not, watching their relationship and lives unfold through their letters to each other shows two men trying to be faithful to the Gospel and to each other.
There was nothing yet infamous about Dec. 7, 1941, when Father Aloysius Schmitt woke up aboard the battleship the USS Oklahoma to celebrate Mass that Sunday morning at Pearl Harbor. But just minutes after the liturgy ended, a surprise Japanese attack was underway, and Father Schmitt would lose his life while helping save the lives of 12 others, becoming the first U.S. chaplain to die during World War II.
World War II novels continue to be written and published; there doesn’t seem to be an end to the story lines created by authors, who find stories from a variety of sources and inspirations.