Monday, January 25, 2021

The Only Roman Catholic Chaplain in the American Revolution


The efforts of the Continental Congress to gain support for the American Revolution in Canada led to the organization of two pro-American Canadian regiments, the 1st and 2nd Canadian Regiments.  There were many French Canadians only too willing to help oust the British from North America.

On January 26, 1776, Father Louis Eustace Lotbiniere, although more than sixty years old, was appointed chaplain of the First Canadian Regiment and became the first Roman Catholic chaplain in the United States Army.  Father Lotbiniere was a native French speaker and ministered to the French-Canadian troops rallying to the American cause.

With the failure of the invasion of Canada, the First Canadian Regiment was transferred to the vicinity of Philadelphia.  Fathter Lotbiniere died in poverty in October 1786.  In support of American liberty he had given up his parish, his family associations, incurred the censure of his Bishop and spent his last years in exile among a strange people whose language he could scarcely speak.

Love, Sex, and Marriage in Colonial America 1607-1800

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