WASHINGTON, D.C. – With a memorial Mass scheduled Tuesday, Sept. 6, for United States Navy Chaplain and Vietnam War hero Father Vincent R. Capodanno, MM, EWTN will air a one-hour documentary on the life and death of the Maryknoll missionary who died in battle serving U.S. Marines.
The Grunt Padre in Vietnam will air on EWTN in North America at the following times in the Eastern Time Zone:
Monday, Sept. 5, at: 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 4:00 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 10:00 a.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 1:30 a.m.
Father Capodanno, a U.S. Navy Lieutenant, was killed by enemy gunfire on Sept. 4, 1967, in Vietnam’s Quế Sơn Valley as he provided physical and spiritual support to wounded and dying Marines under ambush by the North Vietnamese Army. Father Capodanno posthumously received the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, and in May 2006 the Catholic Church officially proclaimed him a Servant of God, formally initiating his Cause for Beatification and Canonization. The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), is the promulgator of the Cause.
By the time of the ambush, which came during a Marine offensive called “Operation Swift,” Father Capodanno had been serving in the Navy Chaplain Corps for nearly two years, and he had gained a reputation for his exceptional pastoral concern for the Marine enlistees, or “grunts,” who did the heavy lifting of war. The Grunt Padre in Vietnam, hosted by the late Archbishop Philip Hannan of New Orleans, is a touching tribute to the priest hero, based on the book, The Grunt Padre (CMJ Marian) by Father Daniel L. Mode, a U.S. Navy Chaplain currently serving on active duty with AMS endorsement and faculties. The film draws on photos and eyewitness accounts to trace the footsteps of Father Capodanno through his service as a Maryknoll missionary and Navy chaplain all the way to the moment of his death as a martyr of the Catholic faith, serving those who served our Nation in combat.
The Memorial Mass for Father Capodanno, celebrated annually around the anniversary of his death, is scheduled this year for 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, Sept. 6, in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Avenue Northeast, Washington, D.C. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, will be the main celebrant and homilist.
The Mass is open to the public. Military members are encouraged to wear the uniform of the day and civilians, business attire.
Media coverage is welcomed.
Both EWTN and CatholicTV will broadcast the Mass live at 6:30 p.m. (ET) Tuesday, Sept. 6. EWTN will repeat the broadcast five and a half hours later at midnight.