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July 27, 1999 TOP 100 CATHOLICS: (jul27top.htm)

DAILY CATHOLIC    TUESDAY     July 27, 1999     vol. 10, no. 139


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      In each issue as we countdown toward the new millennium, we are bringing you the countdown of the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY as voted upon by the readers. We will spotlight each of the 100 Top Catholics chosen by readers over a three month period of time earlier this year. We received a total of 23,455 votes nominating 728 candidates for "Top 100 Catholics of the 20th Century" consideration. The top five vote-getters garnered 9,477 with the top ten registering a total 13,470. The Top 100 chosen received 21,603 votes or 92% of the total with those 628 candidates not making the list receiving 8% of the vote.

      Caliber-wise in the final tally, DAILY CATHOLIC readers made excellent choices and there is a good balance throughout the century list. Eight of the nine Roman Pontiffs of this century made the list except for Pope John Paul I whose pontificate lasted only one month. There are five Saints and six Blesseds as well as seven whose cause for Beatification has been introduced to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The voters selected fifteen cardinals, seven bishops, nineteen priests, seven nuns and two lay brothers. The laity is well represented with four entertainers, four politicians, six renowned secular authors, and numerous dynamic Marian luminaries that have proved their worth through the fruits they have produced by their efforts. Education checks in with several who made the list in all aspects of scholastics including two university presidents and the pro-life movement also has several organizers who made the list as well as well-known leaders of various Catholic non-profit organizations dedicated to upholding the truths of the Church.

98.    Father John Corapi, S.O.L.T.

    The 98th selection for the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY was a man who has been to the depths of the world's trappings and risen to the ethereal heights of a spiritual awakening. He is Father John A. Corapi, S.O.L.T. who the voters chose because of his magnificent teaching and ministry that has touched so many.

          Father John was born on May 20, 1947 in Hudson, New York and early in life exhibited a prowess for the good life, excelling as a gridiron star in high school, attaining a blackbelt in Karate and getting his degree in Business Administration from Pace University in Pleasantville, New York. He had it all. The Vietnam conflict was looming and so he joined the military becoming a member of the prestigious Green Berets. After discharge from the service he went to work as a CPA which eventually took him to "Sin City" - Las Vegas where he became a casino auditor and fell in with the jet set. This translated into an opportunity to plunge into real estate which made him a millionaire with all the wealth of the rich and famous as he accrued it all - from a yacht to a Ferrari to a scenic home overlooking the Pacific. As so often happens to those who seek the world, the flesh and the devil - they find it and Father John found his hellhole in Los Angeles where he became addicted to cocaine, losing everything and wandering aimlessly as a homeless person in downtown LA.

          Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grace of God, he was miraculously saved, largely in part to the prayers of his own mother who, like Saint Monica prayed night and day for her son Saint Augustine. Like that noble Doctor of the Church, Father Corapi followed the same path and has, in a sense, become a modern day St. Augustine. He answered God's call to the priesthood and threw himself 100% into doing his part, immersing himself in studies at the Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology at the University of Navarre in Pamplona, Spain where he obtained his Bachelor of Sacred Theology summa cum laude and later a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, also summa cum laude. It was a far cry from the old days when he would have concentrated on drinking, carousing and running with the bulls for which Pamplona is famous for. Not finished, he achieved the highest degree available from that University, obtaining a Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) and awarded a Magna cum Laude for his thesis: "The Cross of Christ in the Magisterium of John Paul II." Prior to receiving the latter degree, he also obtained a Masters in Sacred Scripture from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, graduating with the highest honors.

          He was drawn by the sincerity, dedication and holiness of Father James Flanigan, S.O.L.T., founder of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity near Corpus Christi, in Robstown, Texas and thus mosied down to south Texas to join the community of S.O.L.T. where he was ordained a transitional deacon on May 26, 1990 by Corpus Christi's Bishop Rene Gracida after a decade of religious studies. Exactly one year from that day he was ordained a priest. But his ordination was special for he had the immense privilege of being ordained by Pope John Paul II himself at St. Peter's Basilica on May 26, 1991.

          He returned to the states largely because the Holy Father asked him to "Go back to America where I need you." His first assignment was in his own Diocese beginning as a pastoral assistant at St. Mary's Parish in Hudson, New York which had to thrill his mother, rewarding her for her faith and perseverance. He then transferred to St. Anthony's Parish near S.O.L.T. headquarters in Robstown, Texas where he became extremely interested in the plight of the Mexican migrant farm workers and ministered to them. But his real talents lay in his "Apostolic Preaching" which is to 'teach the truths of the Fatith with such authority and clarity that even the hardest hearts might be brought closer to God' and so his superiors discerned that, with this gift and his expertise on the new Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Church would be better served by his active preaching ministry. Thus he transferred to the Diocese of Sacramento where he was welcomed by Bishop William K. Weigand and appointed Director of Catholic Faith Formation for the Diocese followed by his assignment as Director of the Diocesan Project for the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

          Though he prefers the contemplative life in his hermitage, most of the time he is on the go, preaching parish missions, retreats and conferences throughout the Western Hemisphere and touching souls as God intended. His preaching is so treasured that Mother Angelica has invited him to preach the annual retreat next month on the Solemnity of the Assumption weekend in Irondale, Alabama for her Sisters of the Eternal Word. You can learn more about Father Corapi and his ministry by going to his website at SOLT Media Ministry where you can also order his tapes and writings as well as going to the S.O.L.T. official web site maintained by Father Richard Gant, S.O.L.T. to learn more about the Order, their ministry and charisms. Father John is living proof that the spirit of St. Augustine lives today, embodied in this dynamic priest who, at only 52, has reached the heights of spirituality and an immeasurable satisfaction that had always eluded him when he lived his life without God. He wants to share his life experiences and lessons learned, as well as his learning, with others as a sign that Jesus Christ will never abandon us for "His Mercy endures forever."

July 27, 1999       volume 10, no. 139


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1 posted on 01/03/2002 3:30:11 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
A very inspiring story.
2 posted on 01/03/2002 3:40:57 PM PST by peabers
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To: Lady In Blue
BUMP! for Fr. Corapi.
3 posted on 01/03/2002 3:44:39 PM PST by BlessedBeGod
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To: Lady In Blue
Thanks for posting. I went to the Daily Catholic...but the page seems to be from Aug. do I get updates?
Confused Poster-Dumpster
8 posted on 01/03/2002 4:31:25 PM PST by grumpster-dumpster
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To: Lady In Blue

...put the blasted Rose Bowl game on MUTE for a while and join AnnaZ and Mercuria for A Very Unspun New Year!!

Our guest line-up includes:

Heidi Maher - If you haven't been reading about her husband Ted, who has now been imprisoned in Monaco for two years under the most suspicious circumstances, click HERE and bone up before the show!

David Keene - Chairman of the American Conservative Union, who will be talking about the upcoming CPAC shindig!

Sean Finnegan - columnist for Mercurial Times and Sierra Times, who will be rapping with us about Klamath, issues of freedom, and what it's like to work in Mercuria's on-line scribbler sweat shop!

That's TONIGHT - JANUARY 3, 2002, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. PST - on UNSPUN WITH AnnaZ!!


We will be taking calls (but don't even bother trying while we have a guest on the air)...


23 posted on 01/03/2002 5:57:54 PM PST by Bob J
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To: Lady In Blue; IM2Phat4U
Fr. Corapi bump
24 posted on 01/03/2002 10:16:46 PM PST by patent
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To: Lady In Blue
I was just surfing through looking for more material on Fr John when I came across this little tidbit about the 2000 Presidential election:

George W. Bush’s election . . .

His brother, Jeb Bush, is Governor of Florida. Jeb is Roman Catholic and married to a Hispanic woman. During the election crisis Jeb’s wife made a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico to pray. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of North and South America and patroness of the unborn. On December 12th, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Jeb’s wife prayed for the administration of George W. Bush and consecrated it to Our Lady. On that very same day George Bush was elected. Isn’t that awesome?

26 posted on 01/04/2002 4:08:17 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
Father Corapi is teaching the Catechism right now on EWTN.
27 posted on 01/06/2002 4:39:41 PM PST by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Lady In Blue

I, too, have had a Similiar reconversion, though I am no priest or public speaker.

40 posted on 01/29/2006 7:36:41 PM PST by robert233334
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To: Lady In Blue

"Father" John Anthony Corapi


Most anyone visiting this web site is somewhat familiar with John Corapi's story, so briefly,
---Father John Corapi is a priest and a religious, a perpetually professed member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity;
---Born in Hudson, New York, in 1948;
---Green Beret Special Forces during the Viet Nam war;
---Millionaire in Las Vegas……..multi-millionaire in Hollywood………..friend of the stars, mansion on the beach, yacht, Ferrari…..

You get the idea. All the world's success before he was even in his mid-30s. And then, God love him (literally), the bottom dropped out. Addiction

And yet more......
In August 2007, the bio was suddenly changed to read:

About Fr. Corapi || Curriculum Vitae

Father John Corapi. S.O.L.T.

Father John Corapi is what has commonly been called a late vocation. In other words, he came to the priesthood other than a young man. He was 44 years old when he was ordained. His experiences prior to ordination have been termed simply astounding, but that is probably somewhat of an overstatement. They might be called extreme, however. From small town boy to the Vietnam era US Army, from millionaire businessman in Las Vegas and Hollywood to drug addicted and homeless, to religious life and ordination to the priesthood by Pope John Paul II, to a life as a preacher of the Gospel who has reached millions with the simple message that God's Name is Mercy!

Father Corapi's academic credentials are quite extensive. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Pace University in the seventies. Then as an older man returned to the university classrooms in preparation for his life as a priest and preacher. He received all of his academic credentials for the Church with honors: a Masters degree in Sacred Scripture from Holy Apostles Seminary and Bachelor, Licentiate, and Doctorate degrees in dogmatic theology from the University of Navarre in Spain.

(See below August 2007 letter from Don Bendell)

The Reproach of Egypt
(Homily for Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C)

    Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you. Joshua 5:9

   During our Lenten retreat Fr. John Corapi told about times he was spat upon. About thirty-five years ago he returned from Vietnam wearing his Green Beret uniform. An anti-war protestor saw him and spit on him. More recently, at the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal, Fr. Corapi was in an airport. Recognizing him as a priest, someone came up and spit at him...

He has, in fact, been listed on the SOLT web site, although I did not find a direct link from the homepage, and his biography there calls him a "Green Beret soldier."

Diocese of Grand Fork, Montana, U.S.A.

...Prior to ordination, Fr. John Corapi, Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), was a high school football star, blackbelt in Karate, Green Beret soldier, CPA, Las Vegas casino auditor, multimillionaire real estate businessman with a yacht, Ferrari, and home on the ocean. He eventually became a cocaine addict...destitute, homeless, and wandering the streets in Los Angeles....

He was ordained in 1991.

He was injured playing high school football:

...Born "poor" in upstate New York, young John Corapi started his search for success down the avenues of sports and the military. Both proved dead-ends: his aspiration to star in football ended with an injury and "then I was back to being nobody again"; his hopes to star as a *Green Beret in Vietnam* dissolved after he fell out of a "stupid helicopter," which tied him to an administrative desk in Germany for three years...

The recent book, _Coronary_ by Stephen Klaidman, talks a lot about Fr. Corapi and his own version of his life story:

...In the fall of 1965, he went to the State University of New York in Albany, but got off to a poor start academically. Corapi quit school, returned to Hudson, and hung out for a while with an
ex-soldier who had served in the Eighty-second Airborne Division. They went skydiving together, which inspired Corapi, who was drifting with no idea of what to do next, to enlist in the army in
the early spring of 1967. He signed a commitment to serve in the Special Forces, but in a helicopter accident in the Canal Zone he reinjured a shoulder that he'd  originally hurt playing football and
ended up in Heidelberg as an administrative assistant. He was released a month or two early from the army in 1970 and began attending Pace University in Pleasantville, New York... 


He graduated from Pace in 1973, not in 1967.

Corapi is rumored to hold a third degree black belt in Shotokan (karate).

To: <>, <>, <>
Cc: <>, <>, <>,

Dear Father John Corapi, S.O.L.T. .....  (or should I call you Roger W. Garvey or Rodger W. Garvey, your other aliases);


Here is just one internet example from hundreds of your biography:

  “Father John was born on May 20, 1947 in Hudson, New York and early in life exhibited a prowess for the good life, excelling as a gridiron star in high school, attaining a blackbelt in Karate and getting his degree in Business Administration from Pace University in Pleasantville, New York. He had it all. The Vietnam conflict was looming and so he joined the military becoming a member of the prestigious Green Berets. After discharge from the service he went to work as a CPA which eventually took him to " Sin City " - Las Vegas where he became a casino auditor and fell in with the jet set. This translated into an opportunity to plunge into real estate which made him a millionaire with all the wealth of the rich and famous as he accrued it all - from a yacht to a Ferrari to a scenic home overlooking the Pacific. As so often happens to those who seek the world, the flesh and the devil - they find it and Father John found his hellhole in Los Angeles where he became addicted to cocaine, losing everything and wandering aimlessly as a homeless person in downtown LA.”


            In the New Testament, we are warned that God is especially tough on anybody who teaches, so with that in mind, my question is simple: What is the bursting radius of a lightning bolt? The reason I mention this is because I am a REAL former Green Beret (US Army Special Forces) Vietnam veteran and have two sons who are REAL Green Beret sergeants, and I speak for thousands of REAL Green Berets, who cannot stand phony, wannabe, lying, fakes claiming they are “former Green Berets and Vietnam veterans,” especially in the name of God. I mention this since your army records, which I have, state that you were a  “leg” clerk-typist” guarding your typewriter and desk at wild places like Ft Knox, KY and Ft Dix, NJ and a brief stint  to Europe (as a private). Incidentally, I just two days ago celebrated my 41st Anniversary in the martial  arts and have been featured in BLACK BELT magazine, so I also wondered what style did you receive your Black Belt in and what rank are you?

How dare you claim to be a Green Beret and Vietnam veteran, when you did NOT even attend Jump School , let alone ever take ANY Special Forces training whatsoever? You did Basic, AIT, and then became a “Chairborne Ranger” the balance of your army stint and never went near Vietnam . My sons, many SF friends, and I worked our individual asses off to earn our Green Berets. That is why it is now a crime to claim to be Special Forces when you were not, under the Stolen Valor Law. By the way, many of those former Green Berets and the FBI have been BCCed on this as well as some in the news media, so they can investigate you.

            According to the numbers provided in many of your bios and interviews all over the web, you look like you have made millions of dollars selling personal appearances, tapes, DVD’s and books like a modern day Catholic wannabe Billy Graham, except Billy simply evangelized without all the marketing or commercial website.  You did so by stealing the valor of others to make your story more colorful, and you can pay heavy fines and prison time for that. In fact, in your bio (again just one example of many) above it states: You received a business degree at Pace University in Pleasantville , NY and your black belt,  and then the war was looming so you joined the Army and SF. The problem is, your military records indicated you entered the service on April 19, 1967 in Hudson , NY and ETSed (exited) on January 19, 1970, and you had no bachelors degree then. In fact, like me, you were barely out of high school, since you and I both were born in 1947.

             In your curriculum vitae, you claim to be a deacon and also a priest ordained by the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, of Robstown, TX. S.O.L.T. nowhere on their website under priests, hermits, ministries, or anywhere are you mentioned, although they have a list displayed of all their priests in America and overseas with bios. I will let the Catholic Church address that issue with you. Less than 3 out of every 100 who try actually earn a Green Beret, and it means a lot to each of us, and we will not stand for anybody to pose as one of us, especially for personal and financial gain.

            I am not Catholic, but I am a Christian, and I will make one major guess: In the verbiage of Special Forces, besides the media, and the FBI, and others, I personally believe that God is really going to kick your unholy ass.

            Let’s review: You and I were born in 1947, which generally means high school graduation in 1965 or 1966. You claim you were a football star and claim before the “looming war,” you achieved a baccalaureate degree as well as a black belt (which generally takes four years at legit karate schools), yet you entered the army on April, 1967, without having a degree. How did you manage that? How did you manage to be a football star with all the practices, and also get a black belt at the same time? You had to be at least a buck sergeant in those days, as well as airborne to even qualify to try to earn a Green Beret. You also had to enlist for extra time if you went SF, and you only had a total of 2 and a half years in the army, with an MOS, or job titles as stenographer, clerk/typist, and personnel specialist. You never attended any infantry or combat arms training whatsoever. You never earned jump wings. You never spent one day at Fort Bragg , North Carolina , which is where you had to go to earn a Green Beret. For awards you received an army commendation medal, national defense medal (which are given for breathing), and a marksman badge from basic training, so you could net even shoot straight (a prediction of your future memoirs apparently), and that is it. The only overseas duty you ever saw was behind a typewriter in Europe . So tell me, Father Corapi, how did you become Rambo for all these years and all those millions?

            From your website: “The essence of Father's message is the essential message of Jesus Christ. It is Good News: a message of TRUTH and goodness, love and mercy.”  Guess what just bit you in the ass? TRUTH . In several of your missives, it states that after speaking to large groups you spend hours in the Confessional. Good idea. I would start pouring my heart out.

            Do you remember about Jesus turning over the tables of the money-changers in the Temple ? I would not want to be you in the months ahead. In fact, I would rather have a millstone tied around my neck and be tossed into the center of the lake.  By the way, you owe a public apology to all the men, past and present, of the US Army Special Forces. There have been other fakes who did not heed my words when I told them that, but always ended up apologizing. Maybe the Catholic church will let you get away with claiming to be a member of exalted societies or elite organizations, but trust me, that ain’t happening with the US Army Special Forces.

            Finally, as a Christian, I am sickened by the phonies, hypocrites, fakes, and money-grubbers who use the name of God and my personal Savior Jesus Christ to further their personal agendas, line their pockets, aggrandize their egos, and try to exalt themselves. It is very unwise, actually very stupid, to piss off guys with backgrounds like mine, but I honestly do not believe in this case, however, I need to do a thing but simply just sit back and watch. Read Romans 19: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” You will be hearing from others, soon, trust me.

De Oppresso Liber,


Don  Bendell                                                

blog:  Websites:  


From: "Don Bendell" <>
To: <>
Cc: "James Gorski" <>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 22:43:00 -0600

Dear Father Corapi;

            We see that you have finally corrected the lies in your bio and now correctly-list yourself as a “Vietnam-era” veteran and also took out the BS about being a Green Beret. You even removed the line about being a Black Belt. There, Father, now doesn’t that feel better? It is called telling the truth, displaying integrity, and simple honesty, which would not have occurred if you did not realize you had been caught.  I cannot believe you have the gall to claim to be a servant of God and are now simply covering your tracks. You have entered the confessional and admitted a sin, because it was brought to light, and you realized your fraud could land you in prison under the Stolen Valor Act. That is not the same as praying a number of Hail Mary’s and paying penance. Now, you owe a public apology to all the men past and present of the US Army Special Forces for making money for years falsely posing as one of us, let alone posing as Vietnam veteran, when you were, in-fact, a clerk-typist in Europe, period. We can do this one of two ways and the choice is yours: the hard way or the easy way. We can expose your lies and deceit internationally and very publicly, or you can act like a real man of God and practice what you preach. Either way, you are going to apologize to all of us. As far as using falsehoods to sell the materials of spreading the Good News, well that you will have to settle directly with God.  My concern is you and every other phony wannabe combat trained-killer stealing the valor of our nation’s real heroes, the true men of honor and pulling the wool over the eyes of staunch supporters of yours, like James Gorski of Missouri who has written me several times. A “real” man of God walks the walk. ANYBODY can talk the talk.

            You send the apology to me directly and I will see that it gets spread to all real (Special Forces) Green Berets within our own network of communication. We are a small tight-knit community, and even without seeing someone’s DD-214,  we know who was or was not part of our brotherhood, but we have your records also. Try to claim it when you did not earn it is one of the best ways I know for anybody to have a very large can of Whup-Ass opened on them, figuratively speaking, of course. If you choose not to apologize, then we will make that demand a whole lot more public.

            If you wonder if we know what you are really all about, you entered the army in Hudson , NY on April 19, 1967, took Basic at Ft Jackson, SC, then AIT at Ft McClellan, AL and then more AIT at Ft Knox, KY. Then you served in Germany as a Clerk-Typist until January, 1969 and became a Stenographer until September 11, 1969 when your MOS was changed to Admin Specialist until you left the Army as a SP5 on January 19, 1970, ETSing at Ft Dix, NJ, where ironically I used to be an MP and guard in Maximum Security at the Fort Dix, Stockade before I went to Infantry OCS. For awards and decorations, you received the Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Marksman Badge in Basic and AIT. In other words, you were awarded for “Breathing.” That is it. You did not even attend Jump School , let alone even one day of training to earn a Green Beret or any type of combat arms training. You should have simply been proud of your service to our nation, as ALL jobs in the US military are honorable, decent, necessary, and important, but you wanted to not only “be all that you can be,” but all that others had been when you did not earn the right or even come close to.

            According to the Son of Man, God will be even tougher in judgment on those who teach, so what do you suppose He will have to say when you built your teaching empire on fraud and deceit, stealing the valor of men who fought and died for God and country? As I said several times previously, I would not be shocked to hear that you learned the bursting radius of a lightning bolt, but again, all that is between you and Our Lord God Almighty.

            It is also up to you to apologize or not to those who have believed in you such as Mr. Gorski. That is between you and them. I do not care. You do not apologize to my SF brothers in arms, I care. As I said, we can do this the hard way or the easy way, and the choice is yours. A man should do what a man chooses to do, but understand that avoiding the issue will not make us go away.

De Oppresso Liber!



Don Bendell                                                

blog:  Websites:


41 posted on 05/18/2008 5:52:11 PM PDT by joessoft (MicMac - There is a term that informally translated is, "Be seeing you again". Ne'multes.)
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