Archbishop Broglio preached the homily at a Mass in Kearny, N.J., on Super Bowl Sunday, commemorating the 75th anniversary of their heroic deaths when they gave up their life jackets to others aboard after the ship was struck by German torpedoes. Father Lt. John P. Washington, a Catholic priest, Rabbi Lt. Alexander D. Goode, a Jewish rabbi, Rev. Lt. Clark V. Poling, a Dutch Reformed minister, and Rev. Lt. George L. Fox, a Methodist minister, all went down with the ship, prayerfully locked arm in arm, leaving more than 200 survivors to reach safety in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic.
In his homily, Archbishop Broglio said, ““There is a clear notion here of self-giving, such as we see in the submission of the Lord Jesus to the Father’s will so that we might have life in abundance. That giving of self in our very materialistic age must remain an important characteristic of our daily lives. We honor the four chaplains, not because we can do something for them beyond our prayers for their immortal souls, but so that we might learn to imitate their charity. We want to learn from them how to use our gifts and talents to serve others.”