The Grand Rapids Civil War Round Table and the Grand Rapids Historical Society welcome the return of Father Robert R. Miller and his program, "Faith of the Fathers - the Courage, Humor & Dedication of Catholic Civil War Chaplains."
As religion helped bring about the Civil War, it also helped support its soldiers. The 100+ Catholic priest-chaplains were a unique group of pioneers - adventuresome, courageous, outspoken Catholic apologists in a “foreign land”. This Power-Point presentation will highlight these unique men - their numbers, impact and some of the colorful “characters” among them. Being an antebellum Catholic was not an easy task – a strong anti-Catholic culture, a Vatican that didn’t “get” American democracy, and a priest-shortage as immigrants poured in. We will put flesh on the long-ignored topic of religion in the war, and introduce a group of Catholic clergymen who became “legends” because of their service.
Robert J. Miller, who was born on Grand Rapids west side, is a Catholic priest of 42 years, works in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and presently ministers as the Pastor of St. Dorothy Church in inner-city Chicago. He has Masters degrees in Religious Education and Divinity, has authored 5 books on spirituality and faith, and was an adjunct professor of Church history at the University of St. Mary of the Lake. He also has been a past President of the Chicago Civil War Round Table. His book on the role of Faith in the Civil War - Both prayed to the Same God – Religion and Faith in the Civil War - is widely acclaimed, and is the first book-length comprehensive overview of the topic. He is a popular speaker around the country on topics of Faith, spirituality and the Civil War, giving numerous talks on the importance of the role of Faith and religion in the American Civil War.