The Friends of Franz and Ben (www.franzjagerstatter.com) have been inspired by the loving witness rendered by WWII Austrian Catholic, Franz Jagerstatter. Franz refused to be part of the Nazi killing machine. In studying the courageous legacy of faith and conscience of Franz, we have found our own American Catholic hero of the Great War, World War I, Ben Salmon of Denver, Colorado Holy Family Parish.
Ben Salmon was one of four Catholic Conscientious Objectors to the so-called “War to End All Wars”. Ben Salmon became one of the most prolific writers and agitators in opposition to United States entry into the Great War (WWI).
Today, we are launching the first ever Ben Salmon internet site at www.bensalmon.org. We will be adding to the site in coming months and years. We ask that you assist us in spreading the word of this man of faith, courage and morality. We want people to understand that Ben Salmon was opposed to all war. He did not believe that any war was just. He saw this as a contradiction to the non-violent Jesus Christ.
Salmon's church and country so opposed him that he was first sentenced to death for not agreeing to train to kill. Then, he was punished by the United States Government in his journey through the federal prison system.
We believe that Ben Salmon was a hero to his Catholic faith and should be on a track to canonization.
We urge Catholics of Denver and of the nation to support Ben in the process of beatification and eventually canonization.
Fr. Tom McCormick
7/6/2016 12:25:23 pm
good work....it comes up very light on my screen...can that be improved??
7/6/2016 02:40:03 pm
This is "ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIC" - of course I HAVE TO EXCLAIM AND "DEEPLY, GRATEFULLY THANK" Author Jack Gilroy and 'executioner' (is that a right word?), Steve Smith!! BOTH for many hours of WORK and Research and completion of a SUPER IMPORTANT TASK - SO Relevantly NEEDED in our NON-PEACEFUL - WILD WORLD OF WARS and 'unthinkable ENEMIES'!! May we "ALL" keep our 'Prayer-Power' GOING - for JUSTICE TO RENDER US "ALL" PEACE!
7/8/2016 03:57:41 pm
Great to see this... I hope more people learn Ben's story.
Fr. Bernard Survil
7/8/2016 09:03:29 pm
While Denver was home for Ben and he was baptized at Holy Family Church in Denver, he was buried in Chicago. The gravesite is unmarked, as reported by Mark Scibilia-Carver who visited the site within the past year. Unless there are plans to bring the remains back to Denver some day, it would be proper to plan to place a gravestone over his burial plot at the cemetery in Chicago. The size and style of the gravestone for Blessed Franz outside his village chapel could provide the criteria for designing one for Ben. I suspect many people would be willing to contribute to making this happen.
7/12/2016 08:07:00 pm
Hello Fr. Bernie,
7/14/2016 05:05:47 pm
God bless those who try to follow Ben Salmon in a world unbalanced by violence.
7/14/2016 07:01:03 pm
I'm so glad I found this via NCR's article today that led me to this website. NCR's article is at:
7/18/2016 01:00:05 pm
7/15/2016 04:44:03 pm
Thank you Jack Gilroy for caring so deeply about my grandfather. Your eloquent writings have given me such inspiration. It was difficult to read and at times brought me to tears learning the details of his history for the first time. I can only hope that others will discover his courageous journey taken in the name of peace for everyone. I am also humbled and deeply appreciative of the labor of love shown by the Friends of Franz and Ben. The web site, beautifully designed by Steve Smith, is a labor of love to share the writings of Ben Salmon.
7/19/2016 10:57:22 am
By their very nature, it seems, institutions are prone to veer far from their founding precepts. The Catholic Church is but one glaring example. Even while wearing symbols associated with Christ, who preached love/compassion/forgiveness, Church leaders have twisted Christ's words into a "just war" theory that mocks His directive to forgive one's enemies. Ben Salmon was a courageous Catholic who spoke truth to ecclesiastical power.
Richard & Sandra Juliani
7/29/2016 08:43:50 am
We would be very willing to support any effort on behalf of Ben Salmon --- including coming from Philadelphia to Chicago for the dedication of the long overdue marker at Mt. Carmel Cemetery. The story of the life of the courageous Ben Salmon must be brought to the attention of our nation and world.
7/31/2016 09:07:05 pm
Richard and Sandra Juliani have offered a creative idea to bring the message of Ben Salmon to Chicago, Denver and the world. It would be worth pursuing a pilgrimage to Ben's Chicago grave and on to Denver sometime next year, the 100 th anniversary of WW I for the entry of the United States. Mark S Carver made the trip on his own last year, it would be a media event if we had a chartered bus to take us on a Just WarTour to Chicago and Denver with the truth and courage focus of Ben Salmon as a teachable time in 2017
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Friends of Franz and Ben