Readers’ Responses, January / February 2018

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Readers respond to our print, web and social media posts


[googlefont font=“Cormorant Infant” fontsize=”20″]From Our Readers[/googlefont]

The September/October 2017 issue is a real winner. The photo meditation by Father Veneroso is so beautiful, as is anything he writes. I enjoyed his experience with angels as a 6-year-old in “A rumor of angels.” I was also deeply moved by the “Grunt Padre.” Nobody deserves to be canonized more than Father Vincent Capodanno. Talk about laying down your life for your friends! Thank you for such inspirational reading.
Doris E. Richard
Olney, Maryland

Several years ago I learned about the book The Grunt Padre. I went several places trying to get a copy but was told they were all sold out or it was out of print. I even tried looking online. I was very disappointed.
I receive MARYKNOLL magazine and was surprised to see the article “The Grunt Padre, 50 Years Later” in the recent September/October 2017 issue. I so enjoyed the article about Father Vincent Capodanno and I have watched the docudrama “Called and Chosen” on EWTN.
In my opinion, he certainly deserves to be canonized.
All of this said, it is high time for Maryknoll to republish the book. It will be a great seller to Marines and others like me.
Jake Bishop
South Hadley, Massachusetts

Editor’s note: The Grunt Padre: The Service & Sacrifice of Father Vincent Robert Capodanno, Vietnam 1966–1967 was not published by Maryknoll but by CMJ Marian Publishers and Distributors, P.O. Box 661, Oak Lawn, IL 60454, and is for sale on the company’s website,, and on some other websites that sell books.

I was personally touched by two illuminating stories in the September/October issue of Maryknoll. Once a year I travel to Staten Island, N.Y., for a doctor’s appointment. On my way from the Verrazano Bridge, I pass the Father Capodanno Boulevard, but little did I know of the extraordinary life of this great priest until now. Your informative article detailed his saintly life.
Also, your story of the visit of Native American youth of the St. Labre Indian Catholic High School to Chicago had a connection for me. I have been a member of its Sacred Circle club and a contributor to that school since 1975.
John J. Scibelli
Rosedale, New York

The September/October article about Father Vincent Capodanno’s extraordinary bravery as a Navy chaplain and Maryknoll priest in Vietnam really got my attention. I’ve been a Maryknoll supporter for the past 60 years and I have never written to you until now.
There are many similarities in Father Vincent’s early life and mine. We were both born in New York on the same exact day—Feb, 13, 1929. We also share the first name of Vincent and our last names are long and begin with the letter C. He was the youngest of 10; I was the youngest of six. We both grew up in Italian-American families and the two of us were serving in the U.S. military in 1967.
In September 1967, the similarities ended. Father Vincent’s self-sacrifice for fallen Marines earned him the Medal of Honor and a path to sainthood. May God bless him.
Vincent Cinquemani
Asheville, North Carolina

Regarding the recent letters about the cruelty to animals, I don’t know about any other circus, but I do know that Ringling Brothers treated the animals better than some people treat their children! I can’t imagine that Gunther Gebel-Williams or his son, who followed him, would mistreat their tigers. Gunther hugged them. One year, we went to Philadelphia to a matinee. An hour before the show, we were outside and a truck pulled up. They unloaded large chunks of raw meat. Better to feed all these lions and tigers beforehand so they don’t nibble on us!
I attended the circus for many years and it was the “Greatest Show on Earth.” I never saw mistreatment when they came to Trenton, where the elephants would parade from the train station to the arena. Last year was the final performance for the elephants; they retired them to a place in Florida with wide open fields and lots of sunshine. This year without elephants, attendance was way down so they decided to close the circus, putting many people out of work. So sad.
The article about Father Capodanno, was excellent.
Joan Petonyak
Trenton, New Jersey

In your September/October issue in the article “Voices for Veronica” why didn’t she apply for citizenship earlier? Her husband did become a citizen. Why did she use “false documents”?
Jo Ann M. Weisz
Parkston, South Dakota

Editor’s note: The article noted the following about Veronica Castro, “… her husband, who had become a U.S. citizen and joined the U.S. Army, petitioned the U.S. Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2011 for his wife and two sons to become permanent residents. Only the children were eligible. Castro’s application was denied because of her deportation in 1998.” The article explains that she “had false documents that a ‘coyote’ gave Castro to enter the United States” when she was trying to join her husband.


The editors invite Maryknoll Members to send us their views. Write to:
Members’ Memos
P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, N.Y. 10545-0302
Our e-mail address is:

Featured Image: Afghan women hold placards as they protest demanding better living conditions at a refugee camp at the former international Helliniko airport in Athens, Greece, in February 2017. (CNS/Y. Kolesidis, EPA/Greece)


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