THE GRUNT PADRE: A Military Chaplain Who Died a Hero

THE GRUNT PADRE: A Military Chaplain Who Died a Hero

Michael Matt

3 years

Long before the spirit of Vatican II had reinvented the Catholic priest in the image and likeness of Jimmy Martin, there were so many heroes numbered among Catholic priests that even Hollywood used to make movies about them.

Whether it was the more than 2,500 Catholic priests who were murdered by the Nazis at the Dachau concentration camp, or the thousands killed or tortured alongside József Cardinal Mindszenty under the Soviet regime, or the untold numbers of military chaplains who gave their lives on the battlefields of WW I, WWII, Korea and Vietnam, they are the unsung heroes we would like to remember this Memorial Day in a special way.

Navy chaplain and war hero, Lt. Vincent Capodanno, is a wonderful example of what the Catholic priesthood used to be.

As you watch how this heroic priest gave his life for his men on the battlefield, please remember that most priests of that time were very much like this guy. Father Capodanno would certainly not have seen himself as a hero. He was, simply, a Catholic priest.

As we thank God for the many traditional Catholic priests today who are fighting to restore the priesthood, let's ask Father Capodanno--Guardian Angel of the Marines--to pray to God for our country and for the Catholic priesthood under siege.

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