Today, June 6, 1944, marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. People at memorials around the world today are remembering the day allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, to fight Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Four years before that historic moment, in 1940, the Archdiocese of Vancouver’s Msgr. Francis A. Clinton joined the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Father Clinton had only been a priest for six years when he became a military chaplain. He provided spiritual support to the military for the duration of the war, serving his country in Canada and in Europe until 1946.

When Father Clinton left the Armed Forces Chaplaincy after the end of World War II, he was appointed rector of Holy Rosary Cathedral.

He served in many local parishes (including as the first pastor of Guardian Angels Parish in Vancouver) as well as a superintendent of Catholic schools and a consultant to the archbishop. He died in 1984 at 80 years old.

“More than once I asked Msgr. Clinton to accept difficult appointments,” said Archbishop James Carney at Msgr. Clinton's funeral. “He did so with priestly obedience, and priestly commitment. His words, ‘Here I am, send me,’ were a true echo of Christ’s offering of himself.”