Skip to comments.Priest involved with St. Louis exorcism dies
Posted on 03/03/2005 10:34:29 AM PST by rface
Father Halloran, who died Tuesday (March 1, 2005) at 83, was the last living Jesuit to be involved in an exorcism that took place in 1949...at a psychiatric unit in St. Louis. The incident provided the inspiration for William Peter Blatty's 1971 runaway bestseller by that name, which led to the hit movie, and a few more of lesser box office appeal, including a recent prequel.
The Rev. William S. Bowdern was dealing with a 14-year-old lad who he believed was possessed by a diabolical spirit or spirits. The boy, Douglas Deen, was a Lutheran from Mount Rainier, Md., a Washington suburb. An eight-page report concerning the incident that was filed in the Georgetown University archives said the boy's parents were concerned by his aberrant behavior. Later accounts said that an aunt and uncle living in St. Louis had suggested to the parents that they try an exorcism as a way of bringing the child under control. That's how he ended up at Alexian Brothers Hospital.
Father Halloran said he observed streaks and arrows and words like "hell" that would rise on the child's skin.
Father Halloran did not shy away from speaking about his experience. In 1988, the Post-Dispatch did a two-part series on the actual exorcism, with Father Halloran providing a lot of fascinating information.
It did not define his priesthood. Father Halloran gained a measure of renown as a paratrooping chaplain during the Vietnam War. At 48, he was then the oldest airborne chaplain at the time. He was awarded two Bronze Stars.
A visitation and Mass will take place Friday evening in Wauwatosa, Wis.
(Excerpt) Read more at stltoday.com ...
Good idea. He was a hero.
I snuck into the theater to see the EXORCIST when I was 12 years old - I couldn't sleep for 3 nights.
I wonder what ever happened to little Johnny Kerry anyway?
Priests who perform exorcisms have to be the bravest men in the world!
To battle the devil himself, head on, must take enormous courage!
God bless Father Halloran.
This story was originally published April 17, 1988
click the link for more of the story....... EXORCIZO, te, immundissime spiritus, omnis incursio adversarii, omne phantasma, omnis legio. (I cast thee out, thou unclean spirit, along with the least encroachment of the wicked enemy, and every phantom and diabolical legion.)
- From the Roman Ritual of the Catholic Church, its Rite of Exorcism
RIP Father Halloran.....
Same here...my sister and I badgered my dad for 3 months to take us to see it...we were 13 and 14...he finally relented..and said if i take you you are going to sit there and watch it...we're not leaving early. That movie freaked us out! we slept together with the lights on for a month.
Ping the others if you find this worthy, please
Two bronze stars and his name written in the Book of Life. God bless you exorcising priest. There is a great new book out on the subject by M. Scott Peck, who wrote "The Road Less Traveled", and "The People of the Lie", dealing with evil folks he faced in his psyciatric practice. But his new book is a fascinating read:"Glimpses of the Devil: A Psychatrist' Personal Accounts of Possession, Exorcism, and Redemption." He is one shrink that has discovered that only people can be evil, but that there is a devil who will try to destroy you.
RIP, Father Halloran. RIP, Veteran.
"was the last living Jesuit to be involved in an exorcism that took place in 1949"
(1) Does this mean the last exorcism done was in 1949?
(2) Or that he was the last Jesuit to do so?
(3) Does this mean there are no Jesuits who either want to or are capable of performing exorcisms?
You slept with your sister? Yikes!
Apparently he was the last Jesuit alive to have participated in a particular 1949 exorcism. You're right, it's a badly written statement. Par for the course in contemporary news reporting.
Exorcist - the only movie that ever really messed me up. Tried to get to the TV twice to turn it off (10 yrs old), but had to run back to the couch and cover my head.
An interesting story under the cosmology heading.
Our reality includes the spiritual world that also is in rebellion against God. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood...."
It means that several Jesuits who were involved in a particular exocrcism. This particular exorcism occurred in 1949. All of those Jesuits are now dead; Fr. Halloran was the last of them to die.
As to your other questions: Yes, there still are priests willing and able to perform exorcisms. IMO there are not enough, but that's another discussion. I do not know if any of them happen to be Jesuits. The Society of Jesus is not currently the bastion of orthodoxy it once was (and should be again).
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