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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.
Please pray for more priests who serve our young men and women in the military. It is a very fertile vineyard for vocations. This prayer comes from Bishop Richard Moth, Catholic Bishop of the Forces in the United Kingdom.
O Lord Jesus Christ, instill in the hearts of priests
the desire to dedicate their lives to you as chaplains to our Armed Services.
Give them wisdom and strength, to hear your call.
Give courage and compassion to those who serve you as Forces Chaplains.
May their hearts be filled with zeal and love of you so that your name may be better known and loved,
for you live and reign for ever and ever.