Scecina is proud to be named after Father Thomas Scecina, whose life story continues to inspire people throughout the world.
Father Tom was a priest with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis who served God and country as a military chaplain during World War II before perishing at sea with other U.S. prisoners of war in 1944.
While he was stationed in the Philippines during WWII, Father Tom ministered to U.S. soldiers as well as a large congregation of Filipinos. He served on the front lines, rescuing and ministering to the wounded and the dying. He survived the Bataan Death March and spent two years in a Japanese POW camp.
In the fall of 1944, the Japanese prepared to move the POWs by ship for slave labor, a practice in violation of the Geneva Convention. Father Tom and his fellow POWs boarded a Japanese ship called the Arisan Maru. The ship was not marked as a POW ship and was subsequently fired upon by a U.S. Navy submarine on October 24, 1944. Father Tom spent his final moments in the sinking ship hearing confessions, offering absolution, and giving comfort. Nearly 1,800 POWs, including Father Tom, perished at sea that day.
Father Tom posthumously received many military awards, including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster. In November 2016, he was inducted into the Indiana Military Veterans Hall of Fame.