In 1939, at the outbreak of WWII and seven years after having been ordained to the priesthood, Rev. Michael Joseph Dalton (May 5, 1902 - April 6, 2009) volunteered to join the Essex Scottish Regiment of the Canadian Army.

Although he could have avoided front line service due to his age and position, he insisted that it was his duty to serve. Father Mike saw active duty in England, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

Father Mike was known to work on the front lines of military combat and often marched with his men, carrying their weapons when they grew fatigued. He was known to drive his jeep, often against orders, to the front lines of combat in order to hear confessions

Saying Mass until his death - just one month shy of his 107th birthday - Father Mike was believed to have been the oldest Catholic priest in Canada and Canada's oldest surviving serviceman from World War II. Father Mike kept a war diary documenting his service during the years 1939-1946. In 1979 he donated it to the National Archives of Canada.

Please join me as I transcribe his writings online.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind to myself today
The Power of God to guide me
The Wisdom of God to each me
The Eye of God to watch over me
The Ear of God to hear me
The Word of God to give me speech
The Hand of God to protect me
The Way of God to lie before me
The Shield of God to shelter me
the Host of God to defend me
Christ be with me, Christ in the front
Christ in the rear, Christ within me
Christ below me, Christ above me
Christ at my right hand
Christ at my left hand
Christ in the front
Christ in the chariot seat Christ at the helm
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me
Christ in every eye that sees me
Christ in every ear that hears me

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