Made From the Right Stuff by John Jordan

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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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Dr. John Patrick Jordan, from son of an Army family to head of a U.S. Federal Agency, accumulated over 52 years as a professional public servant. With reception of his baccalaureate degree in Animal Science from the University of California at Davis (UCD), he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Regular Army, serving at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA and then with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY. He became a Ranger and Pathfinder as well as a Paratrooper. Transferring to the Army Reserve, he began to study biochemistry at UCD, receiving a Ph.D. He taught and conducted research at two universities focusing on space medicine. At 34 years of age he became university-wide Director of the Biology Core Program at Colorado State University involving 5 colleges and ultimately 13 institutions of higher learning. After the Associate Deanship he became responsible for both the Colorado Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service at the university level. Subsequently, he became the Administrator (CEO) of the USDA's Cooperative State Research Service in Washington, DC and finalized his career as Director of the Agricultural Research Service's Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, and in those assignments he won two major awards at the U.S. Presidential level. He has published over 100 professional scientific research papers, supervised the preparation of two books and served for 25 years as Encyclopaedia Britannica's author for agriculture in the Yearbook of Science and the Future. He also holds the honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. Since 1980, he has been an active layman with the Catholic Order of Preachers, known as the Dominicans. He has led several Lay Dominican groups, been an official on the Provincial Advisory Board as well as the International Dominican Foundation, and is a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, a Vatican appointment. Father of eight children, his first wife, Peggy Marsh Jordan, died in 1993. He is currently married to the former Lou Salmon, artist of the cover painting.
Published July 13, 2009 by authorhouse. 87 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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