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Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Hero Priest

World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Captain Joseph Timothy O'Callahan, Chaplain Corps, USNR giving last rites to a sailor after a Japanese air attack on their ship. Described by the ships commander as "the bravest man I've ever seen", Fr. O'Callahan later received the CMH.
All priests are heroic in my mind, but did you know there have been four Roman Catholic Priests awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor since World War II? They are listed below.
Father Vincent R. Capodanno, awared posthumously
Father Angelo J. Liteky
Father Joseph T. O'Callahan
Father Charles Joseph Watters, awarded posthumously
For those of you who may not know the significance of the Congressional Medal of Honor, it is our nations highest military honor for the bravest of the brave. The award brings many honors, distinctions, and privileges. For example in the military the enlisted ranks initiate salutes to officers. However, all members of the United States military (including generals, and all the way up to the Commander in Chief - President of the United States) salute the CMH recipients even if they are the lowest members of the enlisted ranks.
May God call MANY more worthy men to answer His call to the priesthood, ESPECIALLY as chaplains for which there is a CRITICAL need!
For more information about these priests and many others who bravely served our military men and women as chaplains go to this site
For more information on Fr. O'Callahan go to this page on the Congressional Medal of Honor site.


Father Kyle said...

We must be on the same page today, as I posted the same thing on my blog! (Great minds think alike, eh?)

A friend of mine who is retired Army is proud to point out that the only chaplains who have received the Medal of Honor are Catholic Priests!

Keep up the great work, Brad, and I'll see you in Baltimore.

Jean said...

I agree: all priests are heroes. And I can't help believing that those who died in the performance of their vocation are also saints. May God watch over all those serving in harm's way; especially priests.

Brad Watkins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad Watkins said...

Fr. Kyle,

What are the odds that we would both post on the same thing, on the same day? Providence!

I look forward to meeting you in Baltimore.

May God continue to bless you, and let me say thank you for your "yes" to His call!

In Christ,

SoonerScotty said...

I'm sorry, but I have to point out that Catholic Chaplains are not the only chaplains to receive the CMH...just trying to honor the service of others...source: http://www.homeofheroes.com/e-books/publisher/S_chaplains.doc

Brad Watkins said...


Thank you for the clarification! I believe it's true to say the only chaplains from WWII through Vietnam to receive the CMH were Catholic Chaplains. Honestly I was unaware there were so many chaplains awarded the CMH prior to WWII. Thank you for the link! Time to amend this post.

Pennycake said...

*psst* last RITES =p
awesome post!
God bless.