Fr. Capodanno was born into a large Italian family in Staten Island, NY. In 1958, he was ordained a Maryknoll priest and served in Taiwan. He joined the Navy Chaplain Corps in 1965, to serve the Marines in Vietnam. The soldiers nicknamed him the “Grunt Priest” because he had the reputation for always being there, day and night and taking care of his Marines. He died ministering to a wounded soldier in the heat of battle. Posthumously receiving the Medal of Honor, Navy Bronze Star, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Silver Star and the Purple Heart. The USS Capodanno Navy ship was the first ship to receive a Papal Blessing and many military Chapels are named after him.