A courageous journalist who knew the power of prayer Print
Written by Mary Uhler   
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 -- 12:00 AM

After hearing about the death of journalist James Foley, I learned that he was a graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Marquette’s website ( has lots of information about James Foley. Perhaps the most moving to me was a letter he wrote to Marquette after his first capture in 2011 upon returning home safely from Libya.

In that letter, Foley talks about the strength he drew not only from his own prayers, but also from the prayers of his family and friends. He tells how he and his colleague, Clare, prayed together in captivity.

A Prayer for Journalists

From St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists

Almighty God,
Strengthen and direct, we pray, the will of all whose work it is to write what many read, and to speak where many listen.

May we be bold to confront evil and injustice: understanding and compassionate of human weakness; rejecting alike the half-truth which deceives, and the slanted word which corrupts.

May the power which is ours, for good or ill, always be used with honesty and courage, with respect and integrity, so that when all here has been written, said, and done, we may, unashamed, meet Thee face to face.


He wrote, “I began to pray the Rosary. It was what my mother and grandmother would have prayed. I said 10 ‘Hail Marys’ between each ‘Our Father.’ It took a long time, almost an hour to count 100 ‘Hail Marys’ off on my knuckles. And it helped to keep my mind focused. Clare and I prayed together out loud. It felt energizing to speak our weaknesses and hopes together, as if in a conversation with God, rather than silently and alone.”

Foley attributed his release to prayer. “Prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us.”

A memorial service was held August 26 in Milwaukee. Those who were unable to join were encouraged to pray “A Prayer for Journalists” (printed at right).

Please join me in praying for James Foley and for all courageous journalists working in places of conflict in the world. May all of them realize the power of prayer and faith.

To remember James Foley, a scholarship fund has been established at Marquette. Those wishing to contribute may make checks payable to Marquette University – James Foley Scholarship Fund and send to: Marquette University, University Advancement, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881.