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Saint John XXIII Foundation Announces Creation of a New Endowed Scholarship

WASHINGTON, DCJoseph Starshak, Chair of the  Board of Directors of the Saint John XXIII Foundation, is pleased to announce the creation of the Father Vincent R. Capodanno Co-Sponsored Seminarian Endowed Scholarship.

The scholarship was created with a generous founding gift of $75,000. The donors chose to honor the life and legacy of service of Father Vincent Robert Capodanno, the Maryknoll Missionary tragically killed in action while faithfully serving as a Navy chaplain during the Vietnam War. In addition to posthumously receiving the Medal of Honor in 1969, Lieutenant Capodanno’s legacy and sacrifice has been honored through several chapels, scholarships, schools, and organizations.  His Cause for Canonization is ongoing.  

Lead donors for the scholarship are the husband-and-wife team of Douglas Oldmixon and Jo-Dee Benson. Doug retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after serving three combat tours, and Jo-Dee is former VP and Chief Culture Officer for Cirrus Logic, Inc. Together, for many years, they have served the Texas State Council Knights of Columbus, and Doug served a term as the Texas State Deputy from 2016 to 2018.   

“We see this step as a natural continuation of the support provided from 2016 to 2020 by the Texas Women’s Project to the AMS Co-Sponsored Seminarian scholarship program,” Ms. Benson said. “Our goal was to focus attention on the need for Catholic priests to serve as military chaplains and we received a tremendously positive response. The need is even more pressing today and we are privileged to continue our efforts through this new scholarship in honor of Father Capodanno.”  

The couple urges all Catholics with a connection to the military to consider a gift to the Father Capodanno Endowed Scholarship to support future Catholic Chaplains inspired by Father Capodanno’s example of love and courage.

Lt. Col. Oldmixon added, “Father Capodanno is a model of the selfless dedication and loving care a military chaplain offers to service members in the most extreme circumstances – even to the point of the ultimate sacrifice – an imitation of Jesus Christ. We’ve personally experienced the importance of this vocation and the challenges of a shortage of Catholic chaplains, and we pray for Father Capodanno’s intercession to inspire more men to accept the call to this special ministry.”

The Father Vincent R. Capodanno Co-Sponsored Seminarian Endowed Scholarship is now among the 23 endowed Co-Sponsored Seminarian Scholarship funds of the Saint John XXIII Foundation. The funds annually support the education and formation of co-sponsored seminarians, who will serve as future Catholic military chaplains. A Named Co-Sponsored Seminarian Scholarship Fund can be created with a gift of $50,000. Once the fund reaches $500,000, it fully underwrites the annual costs associated with the education and formation of one co-sponsored seminarian in perpetuity.

In recognition of their generous gift and creation of the Father Vincent R. Capodanno Co-Sponsored Seminarian Endowed Scholarship, the Saint John XXIII Foundation will recognize Douglas Oldmixon, Lt Col, USAFR (Ret.) and Jo-Dee Benson as Patrons of the Saint John XXIII Foundation during the 2024 Patrons Reception in San Antonio next month. The couple is also serving on the Reception Host Committee, and look forward to meeting their fellow Patrons and the other faithful supporters of the Saint John XXIII Foundation.

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