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“God is With Us All Here Today” – Honoring a Fallen Hero and Servant of God

Have you noticed how God has a way of leading us through various adventures in life which can allow us to make connections with special people? Most of the people I hold dearest in my life I met in interesting ways.
I have a new friend. I met him just this week, and I already sense a spiritual connection to him. One of the unique things about him is that he died when I was just a few weeks old. I now have a better appreciation of the communion of saints we profess in the Apostles’ Creed.
On a recent trip to New York I found myself praying in a chapel. I noticed several prayer cards bearing the photo of a priest about my age with the title Servant of God, Naval Chaplain, Fr. Vincent Capodanno, MM.
Servant of God. That really caught my attention and my interest. That’s what I want to be. That’s what I strive to do each day. I don’t always do it well, but it’s the core of what I hope to accomplish each day as I wake up and begin anew. Also, as a veteran, I was curious to learn more about Fr. Vincent’s story. I keep one of his prayer cards on my desk now for inspiration.
I learned that Fr. Vincent served as a military chaplain in the Vietnam War. In conducting his ministry to the dying troops on the battlefield Fr. Vincent was wounded himself but refused medical care as he urgently kept working. An infantryman who was wounded and assisted by Fr. Vincent recalls hearing this priest exhort him, “Stay calm, Marine. Someone will be here to help soon. God is with us all here today.”
Fr. Vincent volunteered and gave all he could to serve and minister to his troops. In fact, he gave even his life while protecting a fallen comrade in 1967. Isn’t that a profound example of what Jesus taught?
My new spiritual friend, Fr. Vincent Capodanno, was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and a cause for his beatification has been initiated. Books, videos, and websites abound about his selfless commitment, bravery, and holiness. The impact this Servant of God had on those he served is evidenced by testimony of people who admitted that they would have been willing to die in his place.
God led me all the way to New York to meet my new spiritual friend from Staten Island. He, in turn, has taught me the priceless value of selfless service and to always remember that “God is with us all here today.”
Where is God leading you today?
View a rare video of Fr. Vincent Capodanno serving on duty.
Portrait of Fr. Capodanno by Sharon Clossick.
Christopher Burns is a member of RENEW International’s Resources and Publications team.

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One Response to ““God is With Us All Here Today” – Honoring a Fallen Hero and Servant of God”

  1. Madeleine de Larrain Ross says:

    Wonderful story of such a brave man and good Priest. Thank you!

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