Father Mode is the author of The Grunt Padre, the biography of Vietnam War hero and Navy Chaplain Father Vincent R. Capodanno, MM, whose 1967 death in battle while assisting U.S. Marines posthumously earned him the Medal of Honor, the U.S. Military’s highest decoration. The Catholic Church has declared Father Capodanno, a Maryknoll missionary from Staten Island, N.Y., a “Servant of God,” formally initiating his Cause for canonization. The AMS is the Promoter of the Cause.
Prior to his priestly ordination, Father Mode underwent formation at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. He joined the United States Navy Reserve in 2005 and was assigned to active duty in 2007. Over the course of his career so far, Father Mode has served on two aircraft carriers, including the USS Harry S. Truman, and numerous deployments, including to the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. He was also assigned to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy where he helped to form future leaders of the military. Father Mode actively supports lay ministry in naval church communities through direct supervision of, and communication with, lay leaders, providing information and encouragement to meet challenges.
Currently assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, Father Mode went to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, bringing relief to survivors. The storm, which struck in early November, left more than 6,000 dead and nearly 1,800 missing. In the Easter edition of SALUTE, the AMS’s quarterly news magazine, Father Mode recounts hand-delivering spiritual supplies, including wine, hosts, rosaries, and liturgical books, to a parish in the devastated town of Guiuan, where the church and attached rectory were reduced to rubble, leaving the faithful to attend Mass outdoors.