Fr Daniel Mode now in Afghanistan
I was doing some searching yesterday, looking for a particular site about Fr Vincent Capodanno, known as The Grunt Padre (author Fr Daniel L Mode) by his Marines. Fr Vince was a Maryknoll priest, and a Navy Chaplain, serving his second tour of duty in Vietnam. On Sept 4, 1967, he was injured three separate times, each worse than the time before. He was on the front lines, again, ministering to his fallen, injured 'grunts'. Each of the first two times, he refused to be medvaced out. He said he needed to stay with his men. The third injury, (remember, three Purple Hearts and you get sent home... ) he ran to a fallen soldier, with his back to the enemy, and as he was ministering to the fallen man, Fr Vince was shot over 20 times in the back, spine, neck, and head. He died, and instead of going home, he went HOME. He is a Medal of Honor winner, also.
His grunts have not forgotten him, nor has Fr Mode.
Fr had heard about him in seminary, and eventually wrote the book that he named The Grunt Padre. Fr Mode has been my sister's pastor out in Alexandria, VA at Queen of Apostles, and I have spoken often of the beauty and reverence of his Masses. Fr is a very nice guy, very much in love with God and His Church. He is now learning by his own experience what he learned through research on Fr Vince.
While looking for that one page, I found another that said Fr Mode had been called up to active duty as a Navy Chaplain, and is serving in Afghanistan!! I had not remembered my sister telling me this, so I called her.
My sister told me yesterday that he had resigned as pastor, because he could be gone as long as two years. She also mentioned that he has a website in order to let everyone know how he is doing. She could not remember where it was, so she said we could both look for it. I did. For several hours, off and on, I searched. Learned a lot about the places that he spoke about Fr Vince, including live on Catholic Answers etc. Finally, I thought.... check the parish website!!! DUH!
Fr Mode has a website here:
(on the first page, he is on the left as we look at the picture)
and his email address is on one of the pages, as well as his mailing address.
Note: Fr Mode's website was discontinued, but you can find some things about him at Catholic Military.org
On his blog, however, he had written of the following:
He also tells of being called to the side of a dying soldier on the first or second day he was there, for the last forty five min of this man's life, of having his blood on Fr's boots, of not wearing those boots again until he joined the others that Steven served with. He tells of how it felt to not be one of the 'band of brothers', and yet to have to be with them, to share the time HE had spent with their fallen brother, how he knew he could not just barge in, but needed to wait, to be asked in. He tells of how he knew that he could NOT wash nor wear those boots until he WAS with them, and the memorial ceremony that they had after he had said Mass. He speaks of ministering and being ministered to by Steven's brothers in the next couple of days, even learning that he has to wait on God's time even in the war zones....
Fr has a neat sense of humor, and many pictures to share, also. I am proud to have his autograph on my copy of his book.
There are pictures at the parish website of his going away party, which is described here.
Please pray for him, for his safety, for wisdom of how to serve, and for those he will be serving.
Related Tags: Catholic, Navy Chaplain, Fr Vincent Capodanno, Vietnam, "The Grunt Padre", Marines, Medal of Honor Recipient, Purple Heart, Maryknoll, Fr Daniel L Mode, Fr Mode