occupied by the Japanese who placed all
foreigners under house arrest. The three
priest: Joseph Descoteau, John Doherty and
Fred Julien sought and found refuge with the
Jesuits. In 1944, Fathers Descoteau and
Julien were moved to Los Banos, a hill
country 40 miles of Manila, where they
joined other internees; two bishops, 243
priests, nuns and brothers plus 2000
Protestant Missionaries and their families.
Father Doherty remained in Manila.
discovered the Japanese plan to execute the
internees, General Douglas McArthur mapped
out daring rescue. In early morning of
February 23, 1945, while Japanese were doing
their calisthenics, some 200 U.S.
paratroopers dropped from the heavens and
separated Japanese from their guns. As the
first paratrooper touches the ground, the
Filipino guirellas scouts hidden in the
nearby mountain surrounded the camp and
begun their attack.
battle took place." said Father Julien.
"Bullets flew over our heads. We all lay
flat on the ground praying the rosary. I was
convinced some of us would die. Trembling
from head to foot and unable to control my
head pounding on the ground, I promised Our
Lady of La Salette to erect a shrine in her
honor should she help me survive." Amphibian
tanks broke through the fences and the
internees were herded on even Japanese
continued shelling from the hills.
Miraculously, not even one internee was
killed. The camp went up in flames.
Soon the three
La Salettes were reunited and deported to
the states where they petitioned the Seven
Dollar Province to allow them to return to
the Philippines. Back in Los Banos in 1944,
Bishop Constance Jurgens invited Fathers
Descoteau and Julien to come to Isabela, a
province up north, to help when the war was
over. A postulatum, therefore, petitioning
for the Philippine mission and signed by the
La Salette in Texas and Louisiana was
presented in the Provincial Chapter in 1948.
But the decision is to maintain Burma.
all ensuing correspondences were addressed
to Father Elmeric Dubois, the
Provincial ofthe Immaculate Heart of
Mary Province, eventually paving the way to
acceptance of the Philippine Mission.