- Dec 1, 2020
Amid the pomp and ceremony that marks a military burial, Father Francis Brett was reunited after more than 50 years with his younger priest brother at Arlington National Cemetery.
Relatives of the first chaplain to die in World War II accepted the Silver Star on his behalf 76 years to the day after he died saving 12 sailors during the Pearl Harbor attack.
At first blush, a ceremony taking place in Italy’s Palace of the Army today may seem counter-intuitive, as St. Pope John XXIII, a famous “Peace Pope,” is being installed as the patron saint of the Italian army. In fact, however, for reasons both biographical and philosophical, John XXIII actually may be the perfect patron for the kind of army Italy operates today.
Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services has commended U.S. military chaplains “who put their lives on the line daily to serve those who serve.” The archdiocese said that about 210 Catholic priests are currently on active duty in the U.S. armed forces. About four dozen of those priests serve in the Navy.
The Archdiocese for the Military Services is charged with pastoral care of Catholics in the military, in all five branches, their dependents, any Catholic who is a patient or a resident on a facility governed by the Department of Veteran Affairs, and any U.S. Catholic who works for the Federal Government outside the United States. It is estimated 1.8 million Catholics are under its pastoral care, but it only has 208 priests currently serving.
Archbishop Timothy Broglio has formally closed the archdiocesan phase of the cause of canonization for Father Vincent Capodanno, a Maryknoll priest and Navy chaplain killed during a fierce battle in Vietnam almost 50 years ago at the age of 38. The chaplain was nicknamed the “Grunt Padre,” because of his personal care for and ministry to the “grunts,” meaning members of the infantry.