The Four Chaplins
PCM-02-05.2013

The Physically Challenged Ministry

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(CNN) Contributor Bob Greene-- By the end of the Super Bowl on Sunday night, one or more professional football players will be hailed for their valor, for their guts, for their devotion to their teammates.

They will be called heroes.

And more than 100 million people will be watching.

But because, predictably, those laudatory words will be thrown around so casually on Sunday, perhaps we can take a few minutes here to address an act of genuine valor that happened exactly 70 years ago today.

It wasn't televised. There were no sponsors.

On February 3, 1943, an Army transport ship called the Dorchester, carrying American soldiers through the icy North Atlantic on their way to serve in World War II, was about 100 miles off the coast of Greenland in rough sea. More than 900 people were on board.

Many of them were little more than boys -- young soldiers and sailors who had never been so far from home. The journey had been arduous already, with the men crammed into claustrophobic, all-but-airless sleeping quarters below deck, constantly ill from the violent lurching of the ship.

In the blackness of night, a German submarine fired torpedoes at the Dorchester.

One of the torpedoes hit the middle of the ship. There was pandemonium on board. The Dorchester swiftly began to sink.

The soldiers and sailors, many of them wakened from sleep by the attack, searched desperately in the dark for life jackets and lifeboats and a route to safety.

With them on the ship were four military chaplains, from four disparate religions.

They were Father John Washington, born in Newark, New Jersey, who was Catholic; the Rev. Clark Poling, born in Columbus, Ohio, who was ordained in the Reformed Church in America; Rabbi Alexander Goode, born in Brooklyn, New York, who was Jewish; and the Rev. George Fox, born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, who was Methodist.


In the chaos onboard, according to multiple accounts by survivors of the attack, the four men tried to calm the soldiers and sailors and lead them to evacuation points. The chaplains were doing what chaplains do: providing comfort and guidance and hope.

"I could hear men crying, pleading, praying," a soldier named William B. Bednar would later recall. "I could also hear the chaplains preaching courage. Their voices were the only thing that kept me going."

With the Dorchester rapidly taking on water, there were not enough life jackets readily available for every man on the ship.

So, when the life jackets ran out, the four chaplains removed their own, and handed them to soldiers who didn't have them.

More than 600 men died that night in the frigid seas, but some 230 were rescued. And some of the survivors, in official accounts given to the Army, and in interviews after the war, reported what they saw as the ship went down:

Those four chaplains, men of different faiths but believing in the same God, their arms linked, standing on the deck together in prayer.



They had willingly given up their futures, their lives, to try to help the men who had been placed by the Army in their care.

The U.S. Army War College has in its records a narrative of what happened that night. One of the men who survived the sinking of the Dorchester, a Navy officer named John J. Mahoney, is quoted as recalling that before heading for the lifeboats, he hurried in the direction of his quarters.

Rabbi Goode, seeing him, asked where he was going. Mahoney said he had forgotten his gloves, and wanted to retrieve them before being dropped into the cold sea.

Rabbi Goode said that Mahoney should not waste fleeting time, and offered Mahoney his own gloves.

When Mahoney said he couldn't deprive Rabbi Goode of his gloves, the rabbi said it was all right, he had two pairs.

Only later, according to military historians, did Mahoney realize that of course, Rabbi Goode was not carrying an extra pair of gloves. He had already decided that he was going down with the ship.

According to the Army War College account, another survivor of the Dorchester, John Ladd, said of the four chaplains' selfless act:

"It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of heaven."

The story of the four chaplains was quite well known in America for a while; in 1948 a first-class 3-cent postage stamp was issued bearing their likenesses. There are still stained glass windows in some chapels across the U.S. that pay tribute to the four men, including at the Pentagon. But the national memory is short, and they are no longer much discussed. February 3 was, years ago, designated by Congress to be set aside annually as Four Chaplains Day, but it is not widely commemorated.

This Super Bowl Sunday, with its football heroes whose televised exploits are bracketed by commercials for beer and corn chips, will be no exception. The nation's attention, this February 3, will be focused on the game.

But perhaps, at some point in the day, we can pause for a moment to reflect upon what valor and courage and sacrifice really mean. How rare they truly are.

And to recall the four men who remain, in the words with which their grateful and humbled country honored them on the front of that long-ago postage stamp, "these immortal chaplains."

Editor's note: CNN Contributor Bob Greene is a bestselling author whose 25 books include "Late Edition: A Love Story"; "Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War"; and "Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen."



I love my job, last week I got a chance to meet a granddaughter of one of the Chaplins. She brought two "first day of issue" stamped envelopes in to be framed. I had the privilidge of working on these pieces and thanking her for the opportunity to learn of the true heroics of her granddad and his fellow chaplins.



Let's learn from their examples of true courage as we each face our own individual challenges.



Love for all, Bill Sullivan, the Physically Challenged ministry.


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"More than a gift, it's a Blessing"

"Cost less and last longer than flowers

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Bill, I received today.  It's absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much.

Tracy C. , 13 Jun 2013 10:07


It's beautiful. Thank you for sending a preview. Tracy C. Mon, 10 Jun 2013 09:56


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Bill...thank you so much for the information...I will keep what I original order with just the water and cliff... thanks for having such a great idea for my Irish friend.

Best regards...Barbara W. Thu, 13 Jun 2013 11:26


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Hi Bill,

Thank you again for your assistance today. 

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I’ve ordered from you in the past and you have been wonderful (not to mention the fact that the people I gave the prints to loved them very much).  I have a friend whose Mom passed away recently and I’d like to order the following.....

Thank you very much, Mary Y. 03/16/2013 6:17P++++++++++++  

Received Courtney's gift today. Thank You it's perfect!!  3/2/2013 9:22:40 AM Thanks, that looks great!! 

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Hi Bill. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, but the 2nd package arrived yesterday. Once again thank you for your help and these beautiful items! Enjoy your holidays! John Dixon 12/17/2012 7:22:10 P.M

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Bill thank you and Merry Christmas to you and yours.  Kathy Dec 20, 2012, at 12:15 PM

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Thank you so much as it is my mother's Christmas gift. Debbie Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 7:06

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I am glad you were encouraged!  You run an exceptional business! December 10, 2012 8:05 PM



Dear Bill,

I received our Irish Wedding Blessing Artwork today.  It turned out beautifully!!!  Thank you so much for your speedy response to my postal crisis. My niece and her husband will be very touchedI sent a photo of what you did to my sister (the mother of the bride) and she cried!  Many thanks for your integrity, craftsmanship and kindness.  May your business be blessed!!

 

Sincerely,

Dawn G. California December 07, 2012 8:42 AM



It looks beautiful Bill…thank you so much for your fast response! December 06, 2012 3:48 PM

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Thanks so much Bill, I really appreciate it. It looks great! Amy Wed, 21 Nov 2012 14:44:


Thanks so much  Bill
 Is there anyway it can say "my Godson" instead of our?  Wed, 21 Nov 2012 14:02:08


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very nice!!! Thank you :)

God bless you!


 Erika M. H. Monday, October 22, 2012

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Hi Mr. Sullivan,

 

The order below was the second one of the same nature that I have ordered from you.  I am a pet sitter and get very attached to many of my furry friends and their owners, over the years and feel their loss.  When I came upon this particular Blessing after hours and hours of searching for just the right thing to help with their grief, I knew it was the perfect offering of sympathy.

 

But I wonder if I might make a suggestion?  I don't know if you can do anything about it or not though.  I was WISHING that there was a place on this beautiful and sentimental plaque for a small picture of the deceased pet???  Wouldn't that be nice to have on there?  Maybe it could be inserted right next to the pet’s name and birth/death years?  Maybe others would like to have a small picture of their loved ones (people J) on their blessings plaque.  What do you think?  Any possibility of that?  Thank you for your consideration.  Have a great day!




Oh that’s great Bill!  Wish I had suggested it the first time!  LOL  Keeping your phone number where I can hopefully find it next time!  Thank you! Saturday, September 15, 2012



Thanks so much J

Gay Rieger

Tails ‘R Us Pet Care Paw-fessional Care When You’re Not There

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Dear Bill ,
 The picture arrived today! I can't express enough how beautiful the picture is!   I am so thankful that you called me to get it perfect.  They will love it so much.  My husband loves it so much that I think I might have to get you to do one for us for our anniversary in July.  You do very good work!   Thank you again so much for working with me to get the vision for this gift.
 Best regards,   Monica D. August 20, 2012 Sent from my iPhone


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Hi Bill, Everything arrived 2 days ago - perfect as always! Thanks for the great service - love doing business with you.

Leslie M. August 8, 2012

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Yes that's perfect! Thanks,  Gail Jul 16, 201


Thank you so much! The frames were well received. Very fitting and appreciated.  GAIL Monday, July 16, 2012

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Thank you, Bill for all your creativity and flexibility. I can't wait to see your works of art!

It's a pleasure working with you.

Nannette C. Sat, April 28, 2012

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BILL IT LOOKS GREAR. GO AHEAD WITH IT. THANK YOU FOR THE LINKS. I WILL DEFINITELY LOOK AT THEM. THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS

ROSEMARIE Fri, 18 May 2012

Hi Bill, Thank you so so much . It looks wonderful! Again Thank you Bill.

Rosemarie Mon, 30 Apr 2012

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Received your E-Mail and will be very pleased with the plaque, it is beautifully done.

Thank you

Samuel M.

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Received  the Plaque I ordered from you today.  Thank you for sending me a larger plaque it was  nice of you to do this, and we are very pleased with our order.   THANK YOU!

The Marlows April 25, 2012 

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Thank you for the beautiful product and the quick delivery. It was a pleasure ordering from you. I love the blessing. It makes a lovely gift. 03/16/2012

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Dear Bill, I just received my order and I have to say I absolutely love it, Its a wedding gift to myself and my husband for our 30th anniversary. Thank you I will definitely order from you again. Have a great day Pattie Dwyer 02/21/2012

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Dear Bill, Thank YOU so much! Look forward to receiving the gifts! 01/24/2012

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Bill, I received my order yesterday. I am extremely pleased with it, it looks great! I also can't believe how quickly it arrived. Thank you for great service. Barb Mahaney 01/18/2012

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Thanks so much, she will love it! Have a wonderful Christmas.. 12/19/2011

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Awesome I will go look!

This is the second thing I have purchased in 2 months! More to come ;) 12/12/2011

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Thanks Bill-it came on Wednesday already and was beautiful! I am sure they loved it!

Susan 11/14/2011

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Wow, that is great! Thank you so much--you've been a pleasure to do business with!

I will definitely keep you in mind for future gifts! Thanks again and have a wonderful Sunday. 11/05/2011

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Thanks for your help! This is for our God daughter so wanted a very special gift! Susan 11/05/2011

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Bill, thanks for your prompt service. Can't wait to get it! My grandson's wife is Irish (Murphy) but we are not. She seems to love anything Irish. I'm sure she is going to love the plaque for their new home. Eileen 11/04/2010

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Thanks so much for your quick and helpful response!! Eve M. 11/03/2011

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Denise wrote: "Beautiful...thank you so much!" 10/25/2011

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Hi Mr. Sullivan, I received the new blessing and it is perfect. Thanks, Michelle Blumenthal 10/03/2011

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Perfect! Thank you so much Jean10/03/2011

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Dear Bill: The prints are gorgeous..thank you so much. The frames are beautiful & show off your work to perfection. I know our friends will absolutely love their gifts. We talked briefly about Brian Higgins Christmas cards so I’ll get ready with my Christmas order for cards & prints.

Thank you again for your terrific customer service..it was great chatting with you as usual

Brede 10/02/2011

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Thank you so much Bill! You are such a kind person and truly care about the work you do. I look forward to receiving my order :) Lots of love to you and your family. Jyoti 08/25/2011

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Thanks Bill! I love the picture-it will be a perfect gift for my son and new daughter in law.

Besides-they are both Irish!! Appreciate the free card too! Sue 07/21/2011

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Bill,

I was impressed before, but now I'm in awe. I can see the slight shading behind the letters that make them look like they are embossed and standing up away from the paper.

This is awesome.

If forwarded this to the rest of the team and several have asked for the link to your website.

I think Dr. Marshall will be quite impressed. And it will give her a
beautiful and lasting remembrance of her Mom.

Thank You, Susan 06/30/2011

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thanks bill- hopes are high that I get it in time! again thanks for your obvious extra effort

I will be sure to use you again- (I have two more daughters to marry and a third who might like this as an anniversary gift- I'll see how she reacts to it at the wedding)..06/01/2011........just so you know.....got it!! thanks again for all your help Joseph 06/02/2011

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Thank you so much!! God bless you and your family!! 05/21/2011

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Bill,

My relatives love your art--thank you so much for sharing the jpegs so I could send them on!

Kind Regards, 04/05/2011 Nannette

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It is beautiful, thank you. 03/08/2011

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A thousand thanks sweet William, i have order off your site, and under their "In Memory". I would love it to say My Beloved Martin"

So many blessings to you and yours , the kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me. God Bless you and yours, I will send prayers your way with love in Christ.

Kim 02/12/2011

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Happy New Year Bill! Just wanted to say thank you for sending the beautiful irish plaque back so quickly. I really love it with the silver frame. It was a gift for my future (Irish) son-in-law and he loved it also. I will definitely be using your website for future gifts. Not only do you have a nice selection, but the service is outstanding! Wishing you a happy, healthy new year!! Catherine W. 01/02/2011

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Thanks for the very timely shipping! It was much appreciated. :D -Guy 12/20/2010

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You are the greatest. I am so glad we got a chance to talk. 11/06/2010

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Hi Billy, The mail just came & your delivery was w/it. We all thank you so very much for taking the time & gifting us w/the ‘Bobby cards’ and using your skills. I’ll be in touch soon but meanwhile, thank you from Jean, John, Den & me. Your very special gift is thoughtful & unique! OXOX, Jane 10/29/2010

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Bill – I am so, so grateful and so moved. To say I’m moved to tears would be an understatement - but good tears. I guess everyone’s mum is special. That first poem, in particular, superimposed on Mum’s photo, is just so beautiful and so accurate. Gosh, that must have been so so tough when you lost your Dad. Losing my mum now, when I’m 40 and she’s 81, is a real loss. I can’t imagine what you went through. I’m going to assume you’re 2nd cousin, proof not required J I will be catching up with things during the week, looking forward to getting back online more and seeing more of you. Thank you kindly Bill, very deeply appreciated. You’re a great guy, and a great friend to have. All the best Sean 10/11/2010

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Bill, Thank you so much, the gift arrived in time for me to present it to him on his actual birthday. He was very touched by it, thank you again. Teresa F. 10/08/2010

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Bill, OH my goodness thank you so much she loves Ireland and just bought a new home. Thank you so much it looks like it will be gorgeous I will let you know what she says on Monday!...... 09/15/2010

Bill, Oh my goodness she absolutely loved it. It must be beautiful thank you soo much!! 09/20/2010

You are welcome, she was just ecstatic and very happy inside. I can’t thank you enough since I couldn’t be with her. I will shop with you again. 09/20/2010

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Thanks...looks like it went out today. I may order another one soon. BB 08/19/2010

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all the great letters I got in May, June and July got eaten by a computer virus...

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Bill you do great work!!! 04/30/2010

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THAT IS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks so much...you're the best! Mary 04/29/2010

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Good work Bill.
Posted by Bryn Grover
04/28/2010

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Thanks Bill .......
Posted by James Hayes MBA 04/28/2010

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Bill I love your gifts on your website, there is definitely something for everyone. The golfing ones are great.
Posted by Imelda McGrattan 04/24/2010

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"Thank you Bill for sending me this for my cousin Peter O'Donnell. He will be missed. I will share with the family. Thanks again" John Duffy 4/23/2010

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"Bill I love that you did this! It means more than you know! Thank-you so much. Remind me to share a story with you sometime on why this means a lot. " 04/20/2010

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BILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BILL!!!!!
I just got home and Steve handed me the package from you! Its BEAUTIFUL!! The Irish blessing on Family! I LOVE IT!! He does too its right beside me staring back at me. Youdo GREAT work and Thank You again!!
Posted by Colleen L. R.N. 04/12/2010

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Oh Bill we absolutely love that! I just made it my desk background, Beautiful work as always!!! Posted by Elaine. 03/17/2012

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HaHaHa! Too funny : )) Looking forward to my order! It's for my dad as his present for being the "father of the bride"!!! Very special service you provide – thanks!! 03/05/2010

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Hello Bill

Yours is a heart-warm-breaking story, and as you have known, there is always those others harder hit. I will be looking out for them as I move ahead in my days. Thank you for sharing a piece of your life here. I will try hard to make sure those in my life know about your work here. Warm regards, Brian 03/03/2010

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Bill that is absolutly lovely my wife fell in love with it...thank you very very much. Joe B. 02/28/2010 Ireland

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Hi Bill, Thank you so much for taking care of the broken glass problem on our ordered item. We received the second one in perfect condition, and we absolutely love it! The Irish Wedding Blessing is such a unique gift. Our son and future daughter-in-law love the claddagh, so I am sure that they will really appreciate this gift. Again, thank you so much for such great personal service! Most sincerely, Kathleen Travis 01/28/2010

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Dear Bill, Thank you so much for your compassion. I didn't expect such a personal response, it is refreshing to know that companies such as yours have a human side. Fondest regards, Kelli 01/11/2010

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Thanks so much, Bill...you made my "special people" gift giving so much easier with your beautiful Blessings!! Merry Christmas. Mary Quinn 12/18/2009

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Thanks Bill, that's great customer service. I've ordered a few things from you in the past and I'm sure I'll be getting more stuff. Joe 12/16/2009

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Hi Bill, Yes, the Irish prayer "God looked around his garden" was exactly the right thing to read at the memorial and it was comforting to everyone. Can't wait to see the plaque and thank you so much for your kind words. You are a special person! Regards, Mary 12/12/2009

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Bill, Finally received your phone message...thank you so very much. The Blessing looks so beautiful, and what a generous thing to do!! I was at a loss about what to send these wonderful people this Christmas...they were our next door neighbors 25 years ago (quite the coincidence-having the same last name and not related!), and then I thought of your precious Blessings and the fabulous artistry you put into each one. I want you to know I have a few more that I intend to send this Christmas in the next few days. So, you'll be hearing from me again. Thanks for what you do...and a Merry Christmas to you and yours! With great appreciation, Mary Quinn 12/08/2009

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Hi Bill, My Irish Blessing arrived the other day. I am very pleased with everything. Thank you.-Kevin12/26/2009

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Thank You so much!!! Thank you again for doing these for me, I love them and so will they! Best Wishes, Leah Petro 10/05/2009

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Sat. Oct.3 The plaque arrived! The other 11 Sisters in my Convent are amazed and impressed!Hopefully, I've drummed up business for you.THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU, BILL! S Barbara Lynch,csj 10/03/2009

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No, thank you! I have been searching everywhere for this saying! I saw it once at an Irish Festival 2 years ago and haven't been able to find it since! You made my day yesterday! Taryn 10/01/2009

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hi Bill,
That looks fantastic! well impressed, but i was just wondering is the irish blessing going to be on it as well underneath the art work? If that could be done, it would be perfect. Really great products though, I'm sure with all the weddings that are happening I will be ordering some more :o) Hope your business is going well for ya! I'll spread the word for you with my friends. Kind regards, David 09/18/2009

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Thanks so much, Bill, for your quick and kind response and for getting the plaque out so quickly. Regards. Patrice Hall, VP & Head of Global Equality, Diversity & Inclusion 07/27/2009

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thankyou, i will try them both, also, i have been reading your bereavement plaques, i lost my husband last year on july 4th, he was 36 yrs old, im sitting here in amazement at how beautiful you have written these up, i would like to purchase for mine/his family members as gifts at holiday time, and i would like one for myself as soon as i find the right one, although they all look right, me and the kids are moving out of the home we shared at the end of next week and i would like to have something ordered by than, if you can suggest anything, as there are so many of them!!!!!! Kelly D. Sr. Client Service Associate Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC* 06/19/2009

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Mr. Sullivan,

My Sister called me tonight and said the package arrived already! Wow, that was incredibly fast.......Thank you! And she opened it and said that it looked super! I can't wait to see it next week myself! Thank you again for such super work and done so quick! I'm sure that you work will help to my our Parents anniversary even more memorable! I will call on you again, Pat 06/17/2009

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Thank You Bill! I will shop again AND tell all the hundreds of Irishmen in my clan about your website! Pat 06/15/2009

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You have been a blessing. It has been so hard being in Tucson with Janet in New York. The funeral Mass was this morning. Janet called me in a panic early yesterday morning and asked me to type her Eulogy while she was at her Mom's wake. She could'nt format it on her computer and needed help and was just so sad. This is when I discovered, after 30 years of knowing them, I had the name wrong. Sheila was a nickname and even then I had the i and e turned around.

I will remember you and will also pass your name on to my sisters, and friends. Your have been great. I will be in touch later this week. My husband is a firefighter and I did see a beautiful gift for the boys to give him for Father's Day. Off now on many errands.

Best regards, Kelley 05/26/2009

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I received The Irish Wedding Blessing today and could not imagine anything so beautiful. I only ordered it Wednesday and received it today Saturday. I have never seen a web site as spectacular as yours. I bought this as a little extra gift to give to my cousin who is getting married next month. She lost her father and I felt I wanted to give her something a little special. This plaque will do more than words could ever say. You should be proud of all the work you do to make others smile. I will certainly will be back to order more. Thank you again for this very special and beautiful personalized plaque. Laura--New York 05/24/2009

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Recieved the placque today thank you it is beautiful thanks for getting it out to us so quickly we love it. susie holler 05/29/2009

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Thanks a bunch Bill!!!
Will let you know when they are received :) Barb 05/06/2009

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Bill, thank you so much for your wonderful offer to include the card...next time I order, (and I will be reordering!!)

By providing such beautiful greetings and plaques, God must look lovingly on you and your family. I read your story and was touched. My husband's family has suffered greatly from MS. There is no less than 5 within the immediate family who have MS. My husband was diagnosed 2 years ago at the age of 58. I think I was directed by a higher power to find your site. God bless you! And, thank you. Mary Q. 05/03/2009

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Bill,
I was looking over your Irish Blessings web site and was impressed with the variety of blessings you use in your artwork. Beth W. Cheyenne Regional Medical Center 03/31/2009

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Thank you so much! I have previously ordered from you and received high compliments from the recipient. This is so much nicer than ordering flowers for a funeral and cheaper!!!! Thank you so much!!! Jonelm 3/25/2009

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Hi Bill,
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful framed Irish Blessings and Irish Maps that you've done for us and our children and grandchildren. They are really fantastic and wonderful quality. Also, thank you very much for your prompt follow through on replacing the one frame that had a crack in it. The replacement was perfect as were the rest of the items we received. I and my family will continue to purchase Irish Blessings from you in the years to come and refer our friends to your site. Thank you again very much. Patrick R Kennedy, Mercer Island, WA. March 17, 2009

I have had MS since 1986. My wife Cathy has scoliosis and degenerative spine arthritis. We want to help others with their faith in God through their suffering!

I started the Physically Challenged Ministry in 1989 because the need to encourage others was severely lacking in churches all over.

I have been writing faith based articles for the PCM [Physically Challenged Ministry]

https://www.facebook.com/groups/111319965554199/

Reaching out to others in similar situations to help them as I was helped, has been the key to my faith, with the numerous faith issues we have faced.

Irish Blessings is my personal company and it provides me with some internet space and time to write and encourage. Rather than produce a book and have to charge for it, I am totally funding all the expenses so that thousands may be encouraged to reach out to help others.

I have been publishing on "Patients Like Me", FaceBook , LinkedIn and looking to expand Blogspot

I have a passion to help other physically challenged Christians understand God's love for them. Irish Blessings is my company and I use it to pay for webspace so I can devote time to my passion.

I provide beautiful personalized blessings for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and memorials, along with a bunch of other ocassions.

Your purchase of these gifts for others enables me to do what I do ...
without cost for those in need. Rather than charge for a book, right now I am going to depend on God for the business to provide the funds I need to survive.

You get a gift to give, your receiver of the gift is happy and I get to persue my passion of encouraging others. It is a win ~ win ~ win~ win solution!

Thank you all so much for your time! — at www.irishb.com.