Fighting the Good Fight: The Father Peter Whelan Story| 58mins
Director: Chris Gagliano | Producer: Chris Gagliano
Focus Years: 2009 | Country: United States
Fighting the Good Fight documents the life of Father Peter Whelan, an Irish-born Catholic priest who served in the diocese of Charleston and Savannah from 1837 until 1871. His story is not very well known, and yet, in his lifetime he touched thousands, which is highlighted by the fact that his funeral in 1871 was the largest that the city of Savannah had seen up to that time. His work included missionary duties in North Carolina, the pastorate of Georgiaâ€™s first Catholic parish, and on two occasions served as administrator of the diocese of Savannah. Father Whelanâ€™s most noteworthy contributions were the years spent serving as chaplain to Confederate troops at Fort Pulaski near Savannah at the beginning of the Civil War. Present during the bombardment and capture of Fort Pulaski by Federal forces, he volunteered to remain with the troops during their imprisonment in New York. Later he volunteered to minister to the Union prisoners-of-war held at the infamous Andersonville prison camp in West Georgia. Because he was a man who was willing to rise above the political, social, racial and religious barriers of his day in order to preserve the dignity of each human person, he is truly a man for all seasons, and his story one that needs to be told.