Saturday, July 04, 2009

They Also Serve

Belated recognition of the passing of Chaplain (Major) Henry Timothy Vakoc:

Chaplain (Major) Henry Timothy Vakoc, retired, 49, a Roman Catholic priest who lived for five years after being severely wounded in Iraq in 2004, died June 20 at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

Vakoc (pronounced VAH-kitch), a native of Robbinsdale, had been living at St. Therese Care Center in New Hope since December 2006, until he was taken to the hospital the day he died.

According to Vakoc's CaringBridge website, he died "surrounded by family and friends who prayed him into heaven."

Vakoc had celebrated the 17th anniversary of his ordination at a special Mass June 10 at St. Therese Care Center.

Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, issued a statement on June 21 which said: "All of us in this Catholic Archdiocese are grieving with the family of Father Vakoc, who died last night after surviving terrible wounds in the Iraq War five long years ago. We are joined in that grieving, to be sure, by the men and women whom he served as chaplain in Iraq and those who witnessed his extraordinary courage and faith at Walter Reed Hospital and here at our Veteran's Hospital."

Calling Vakoc "a man of peace," Nienstedt said, "He chose to endure the horror of war in order to bring the peace of Christ to America's fighting men and women. He has been an inspiration to us all and we will miss him. We ask everyone to remember him in prayer. "

Vakoc was a man who served God, his country and his fellow soldiers. R.I.P.

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