U.S. Navy Chaplain Father Daniel L. Mode Named Finalist for Catholic Extension’s Lumen Christi Award

New round of online voting now underway on the Catholic Extension Facebook page

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father Daniel L. Mode (CDR, CHC, USN), a United States Navy Chaplain with endorsement and faculties from theArchdiocese for the Military Services (AMS), has advanced to thefinal round of consideration for Catholic Extension’s 2014 Lumen Christi Award. Today, Catholic Extension named Father Mode amongnine finalists selected from a field of 38 nominees. Friends of the AMS may show their support by voting for Father Mode on the Catholic Extension Facebook page.

Now in its 37th year, the Lumen Christi—Latin for “Light of Christ”—is presented annually to a priest, lay person, woman religious, or group whose service builds faith, inspires hope, and ignites change. In keeping with Catholic Extension’s goal of supporting poor mission diocesesthroughout the United States, each finalist will receive $10,000 to support the recipient’s pastoral work and ministry. The winner, to be chosen from the finalists in the fall, will receive a $50,000 grant, with the honoree and nominating diocese each receiving $25,000 to enhance a specific area of ministry. Before awarding the grant, Catholic Extension will discuss and agree upon use of the grant with both the recipient and the recipient’s diocese.

Father Mode, biographer of American Vietnam War hero Father Vincent R. Capodanno, MM, is currently assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. Father Mode was nominated for the Lumen Christi by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services.

In his letter of nomination, Archbishop Broglio wrote:

“Father Mode is the author of The Grunt Padre, (CMJ Marian Publishers, Oak Lawn, IL, 2000) the story of Father Vincent Capodanno who died in battle for God and country while serving as a Marine Corps Chaplain in Vietnam. This book has been a key resource toward the promotion of the Cause of Father Capodanno for Sainthood.

“In addition to Father Mode’s skills as an author he remains a pastoral asset to those he serves in the United States Navy… Father Mode has served the particular needs of Catholics on aircraft carriers, in multiple deployed settings, as the Chaplain of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and most recently while accompanying troops to assist with relief efforts to support people dealing with the disaster of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.”

Father Mode’s The Grunt Padre details the remarkable life of Father Capodanno, whose 1967 death in battle while assisting U.S. Marines posthumously earned him the Medal of Honor, the U.S. Military’s highest decoration. The Catholic Church has since declared Father Capodanno, a Maryknoll missionary from Staten Island, N.Y., a “Servant of God,” formally initiating his Cause for canonization. The AMS is the Promoter of the Cause.

Prior to his priestly ordination, Father Mode underwent formation at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. He joined the United States Navy Reserve in 2005 and was assigned to active duty in 2007. Over the course of his career so far, Father Mode has served on two aircraft carriers, including the USS Harry S. Truman, and numerous deployments, including to the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. Father Mode actively supports lay ministry in naval church communities through direct supervision of, and communication with, lay leaders, providing information and encouragement to meet challenges.

In the Easter edition of SALUTE, the AMS’s quarterly news magazine, Father Mode recounts hand-delivering spiritual supplies to the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 6,000 dead and nearly 1,800 missing. He brought wine, hosts, rosaries, and liturgical books, to a parish in the devastated town of Guiuan, where the church and attached rectory were reduced to rubble, leaving the faithful to attend Mass outdoors.

Father Mode writes:

“I arrived at Immaculate Conception parish in the very heart of the town. The church and the attached rectory were in rubble. Some walls were still standing, but no roofs. Amazingly the statue of Our Lady on a pedestal in the courtyard of the parish was still standing and completely unaffected. There I met Fathers Andy and Art… Since the church was totally destroyed, they were offering Mass outside in the courtyard. At the morning Mass over 1,000 attended and they would have another Mass in the evening. The Mass supplies I brought were a great benefit for them, as almost all of their hosts had been made unusable by the storm.”

Of the nine finalists, Catholic Extension President Rev. John J. Wall said:

“We are excited that in our 37th year we have so many wonderful examples of the faithful sharing the light of Christ and making a tremendous impact on people’s lives throughout the U.S. Now more than ever people are being inspired by the example and call of Pope Francis to serve, and we’re so honored to recognize these people and share their stories,” he added.

Voting for Father Mode on the Catholic Extension Facebook page is simple: If you haven’t already, “Like” Catholic Extension’s Facebook page to view all finalists. Click on Father Daniel Mode’s name. You’ll be taken to his page where you can cast your vote by clicking on the blue “vote” button. Share your vote on your own Facebook wall and ask those in your network to vote, too. A vote for Father Daniel Mode helps spread the light of Christ by letting Catholics across America know about the good news going on in the AMS.