Catholic Chaplains

Did you know that four Catholic chaplains have been awarded the US Medal of Honor? The one pictured to the right was  Fr.  Joseph T. O’Callahan, USNR, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism on board the USS Franklin (CV-13), off Japan on March 19, 1945. Seventy Catholic chaplains died during World War II.

I bring this up because Kansas politicians are petitioning to award of Fr. Emil Kapaun, a US Army Chaplain who died in a prisoner-of-war camp during the Korean War, a posthumous Congressional Medal of  Honor. On the Father Kapaun website it states: 

In the seven months in prison, Father Kapaun spent himself in heroic service to his fellow prisoners without regard for race, color or creed.  To this there is testimony of men of all faiths.  Ignoring his own ill health, he nursed the sick and wounded until a blood clot in his leg prevented his daily rounds.  Moved to a so-called hospital, but denied medical assistance, his death soon followed on May 23, 1951. 

The Diocese of Wichita officially opened the cause for his beatification on June 29, 2008.




2 thoughts on “Catholic Chaplains”

  1. I know all about both Father Kapaun AND Father O’Callaghan!

    In fact, a ship which my late father served on in the South Pacific in World War II played a key role in the rescue operations of the USS Franklin. His ship was the USS Santa Fe [Holy Faith].

    I have a paperback edition of Father O’Callaghan’s memoir, ‘I Was Chaplain On The Franklin’. And the picture you have here was in an article about Father O’Callaghan in ‘Latin Mass Magazine’.

    1. Barb,

      I love the picture of Father O’Callaghan. It really shows the heart of a priest and the heart of Christ.


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