November 5, 2013
Five Catholic chaplains since civil war awarded
nation's highest military award
Two Medal of Honor winners on road to sainthood
Seminarians studying to become chaplains
November 5, 2013
Washington–Five chaplain Medal of Honor winners, two on the road to being formally declared saints, are being highlighted leading up to Veterans Day on the blog of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: http://usccbmedia.blogspot.com/
The chaplains include Father Emil Kapaun, an Army chaplain from Kansas, who died as a prisoner of war in Korea; Father Vincent Capodanno, a Maryknoll priest from Staten Island, New York, who died when, despite his own war injuries, he tended injured Marines during battle in Vietnam; and Father Joseph O’Callahan, a Jesuit priest and Navy chaplain in World War II, who ministered to injured sailors on a ship hit by two bombs.
Others include Father Charles J. Watters, from New Jersey, who served in Vietnam. He rescued wounded men at the Battle of Dak To and ran through intense gunfire to help wounded soldiers. He died in the worst “friendly fire” incident in Vietnam. The fifth chaplain is Father Angelo Liteky, who won his medal for carrying 20 wounded soldiers to safety during intense fighting on a search-and-destroy mission in Vietnam. He later became a peace activist, left the priesthood in 1975, and renounced his medal in 1986.
Father Kapaun and Father Capodanno also are being considered for sainthood.
The Veterans Day project also includes background on requirements for consideration for the Medal of Honor and sainthood.
The project also highlights seminarians preparing for the Chaplain Corps. They include transitional Deacon James Hinkle from the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, a student at the North American College, Rome, and a graduate of the Navy ROTC program at the University of Notre Dame; transitional Deacon Paul Shovelain of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who is a co-sponsored seminarian/prospective U.S. Army chaplain; and transitional Deacon Christopher Christiansen, a prospective U.S. Navy Chaplain and a seminarian at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The blog series began November 4, in preparation for the Nov. 11 national holiday honoring U.S. veterans.
Keywords: Veterans Day, Medal of Honor, saints, Father Emil Kapaun, Father Joseph O’Callahan, Father Vincent Capodanno, Father Charles Watters, Father Angelo Liteky
Sister Mary Ann Walsh