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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Patriot Priest: A Personal Perspective of History from WWI, WWII to the Vatican is a work of non-fiction in the historical biography and religious figures subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Patricia Daly-Lipe. As the title suggests, the work takes us through a specific period of history focusing on the legacy of Msgr. William A. Hemmick, the author’s great-uncle. This erudite and talented man rose in the ranks through different experiences of the First World War and eventually was invited to the Vatican, where he became even more noted as an American Canon responsible for many Catholic ceremonies and honors.
Author Patricia Daly-Lipe writes with passion and a clear fondness for history as she celebrates her great-uncle in this deeply involved biography. I enjoyed the double-stranded narrative skill, which gives us the personal history of Hemmick and his incredible achievements in languages, the military, and in his contribution to the papacy, but also in the wider vein of Catholic history and the involvement, attitude, and influence of the Vatican during such a turbulent time. The World Wars and inter-war period are explored with verve and atmospheric descriptions, bringing to life a time that many people feel they know about but rarely have the chance to experience deeply through the eyes of another. Overall, Patriot Priest offers its readers that unique chance in a well-penned exploration that is well-researched and deeply dedicated to presenting history with heart. I can’t recommend it highly enough.