Early on, Madalene and Herbert S. Jordan realized they had a common focus in life which could easily be summarized as “Duty, Honor, Country and God.” Integrity was the hallmark characteristic of them both. When commitments were made, they were honored…without hesitation. With marriage, the commitments were in the wedding vows, never to be violated, and in religion, the commitment was in the baptismal rite which, again, was never to be violated. For Madalene Marie Driscoll, her commitment to God was made as a baby through the promises of her parents and God-parents. All through her life, she was devoted to the Catholic Church, its teachings and its obligations. She spent much time in prayer, and whenever possible spent time in adoration before the Holy Eucharist. At location after location, Army post after Army post, she sewed cassocks and surpluses for the altar boys. Indeed in most posts from the 1930’s on, her boys were altar servers. She was dedicated to reading scripture and religious books, attending novenas and prayed the rosary on basically a daily basis. She frequently went to daily Mass and was a dedicated parishioner in the chapels and churches wherever she lived. Priests treasured her ability to get things done. She always hoped that one of her sons would become a priest, but was pleased to have a nephew and brother who were priests in the Passionist Order, Father Godfrey Poage and Father Louis Driscoll. Herbert Spencer Jordan was raised as a Congregationalist, but following the marriage to Madalene he attended Catholic Mass with the family on special occasions. After their son Bert’s sudden death in the Korean War in September 1950, Herbert began studying with a Jesuit priest and in 1951 became a Roman Catholic. He embraced that commitment with total heart and soul, and became a stalwart convert, frequently reading religious books and a lot of religious history. In prayer life, they really became a pair as they had in marriage. Indeed, they embedded in their sons the characteristics which their parents manifested…INTEGRITY…DUTY…HONOR…COUNTRY…GOD. This manifestation showed up in many ways. In entering a car, Mom always quietly said a prayer. Dad never used a foul or profane word…and didn’t allow anyone in his home or who worked for him to use any such language. Wherever they traveled with the Army, the two of them would become close friends with Catholic priests and sisters in their parishes. In Dad’s case, this happened long before he became a Catholic. They were always generous in giving to church and charities. In fact, our family home often became the site for parish- or Army chapel-based activities, and especially for raising money for struggling churches during World War II. What a model set of parents!!
About John Jordan
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Published July 13, 2009
Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Parenting & Relationships.