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v2.1 Reference

The Priest Who Put Europe Back Together

The Life of Father Fabian Flynn, CP

Philp Fabian Flynn led a remarkable life, bearing witness to some of the most pivotal events of the twentieth century. Flynn took part in the invasions of Sicily and Normandy, the Battle of Aachen, and the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest. He acted as confessor to Nazi War Criminals during the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, assisted Hungarian Revolutionaries on the streets of Budapest, and assisted the waves of refugees arriving in Austria feeling the effects of ethnic and political persecution during the Cold War. The Priest Who Put Europe Back Together tells the story of this fascinating life. From solidly middle-class beginnings in Dorchester, Massachusetts, Flynn interacted with and occasionally advised some of the major political, military, and religious leaders of his era. His legacy as a Passionist priest, a chaplain in the US Army, and an official in the Catholic Relief Services was both vast and enormously beneficial. His life and career symbolized the "coming of age" of the United States as a global superpower, and the corresponding growth of the American Catholic Church as an international institution. Both helped liberate half of Europe from Fascist rule, and then helped to rebuild its political, economic, and social foundations, which led to an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity. His efforts on behalf of both his country and his Church to contain Communist influence, and to assist the refugees of its tyranny, contributed to its collapse. Flynn was one of the hundreds of Americans who put Europe back together after a period of horrendous self-destruction. In a twentieth century filled with villains and despots, Flynn played a heroic and vital role in extraordinary times.

About the Author

Sean Brennan is associate professor of history at the University of Scranton.


"Father Fabian Flynn's passionate ministry as a writer, Army chaplain during the Second World War, and CRS director in post-war Europe offers a fascinating story of the U.S. intervention in the liberation and reconstruction of Europe. Sean Brennan's well-written account is scholarly and engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it."—Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA

"The biography of American Catholic Passionist priest Fabian Flynn offers a compelling portrait of how this World War II Catholic military chaplain served in the African-European theater as well as at the Nuremberg trials. The immediate post-war era led him to combine ministerial and administrative skills to insure cooperation among transnational military, religious, and governmental bureaucracies delivering humanitarian relief during the post-communist era into the 1960s. Sources culled by Sean Brennan from American and European government and religious archives have enabled him to craft an engaging inspirational historical narrative that speaks to scholars and the general readership."—Robert E. Carbonneau, CP, Historian, Passionist Congregation

"It would be hard to think of a better life through which to view the great events in mid-twentieth Europe than that of Father Fabian Flynn. This feisty Boston Irish priest accompanied American GIs on the battlefields of Sicily and Normandy, served as chaplain at the Nuremburg trials, had a ringside seat for the communist takeover of Hungary, and ministered to countless refugees and migrants from his base in Austria—German expellees from the East, Axis prisoners of war, and Hungarians and Yugoslavs fleeing communist regimes. Despite debilitating health problems and less than supportive religious superiors, Father Flynn stands out as a committed opponent of totalitarian regimes and movements, who eagerly served where he was needed most."—James R. Felak, University of Washington

9780813230177 : the-priest-who-put-europe-back-together-brennan
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312 Pages
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