Dear Editor: Are there extraordinary people who do wondrous deeds living in modern times or have all such individuals lived centuries ago in places far away? (“Movie Recalls Heroic Chaplaincy Of New York’s Father Capodanno, Nov. 2018”)
On Monday November 12, 2018, I had the pleasure of viewing “Called and Chosen,” a documentary about the life of Father Vincent Capodanno. Through the movie, I have come to believe that Father Capodanno was one such extraordinary individual, and he was born right here in New York City in 1929.
“Called and Chosen” beautifully tells the life story of Vincent Capodanno. It begins with his childhood on Staten Island, as the youngest of 10, in a devout Italian-American family. It goes on to reveal his development into manhood, when he hears the call from God to become a priest, and ultimately delves in to his role as a Maryknoll priest, serving as a Chaplain in the Marine Corps. in Vietnam.
The second part of “Called and Chosen” is even more compelling than the first because it gives first-hand insights into Father Capadano from the Marines with whom he served. The Marines interviewed in the film knew Father Capadano, or as many referred to him “Padre,” and they are very direct when describing how effectively he helped them cope with the fear, anxiety, anger and pain they were experiencing while fighting a war in the jungles of Southeast Asia.
Sadly, Father Capodanno was killed on September 4, 1967 by enemy gunfire as he ministered to injured and dying Marines on the battlefield. He is appropriately remembered as a hero and his selfless acts, in his service to God, left the viewers quietly inspired. I would strongly recommend this documentary to anyone interested in learning about an extraordinary New Yorker who did wondrous deeds.
To purchase the “Called and Chosen” DVD contact the Father Cappodano Guild at www.capodannoguild.org.
THOMAS V. TUFFY ESQ.