Chief of chaplains speaks at Vicenza prayer breakfast
February 7, 2014
Psalm 33 says, "No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength." This was one of the prayers that was read during the annual prayer breakfast in Vicenza Feb. 7.
A typical breakfast was served, but a very distinguished speaker attended the event.
Chief of Chaplains, Maj. Gen. Donald L. Rutherford, spoke to members of the community about effective leaders and calming anxiety using survival skills.
"We are living in anxious times, no one wants to live in a threat," Rutherford said. "I'd like everyone to leave a little calmer and thoughtful here today."
Rutherford spoke about author Henri Nouwen, a Dutch born Catholic priest who taught at Notre Dame, Harvard and Yale. While speaking about Nouwen's beliefs, Rutherford asked the audience how they can create space for God to act and speak. He then read a passage from Nouwen's book, "Inner Voice of Love."
"When you feel lonely, stay in your loneliness ... live instead of surviving."
Rutherford then spoke about Korean War Medal of Honor recipient and Roman Catholic priest Capt. Emil Kapaun. Kapaun was a prisoner of war, who suffered cruelty and starvation in captivity but became a beacon of humanity and hope to his fellow prisoners.
On the death march to Pyoktong, "American Soldiers left the wounded in ditches to die, ignoring orders from their officers," Ruther ford said. "Young Emil had a choice to make. He could have chosen to be bitter, a lot was going wrong with his life, but instead he focused on the positive in a very intense atmosphere."
Rutherford finished his speech asking the crowd, "Why are you part of the Army today?"
"I hope you are all here to make a difference … that you may be leaders who bring calm in the face of anxiety."
During the breakfast, prayers were recited for the military our nation and the world. Music was presented by a group of Vicenza Elementary School students playing steel drums.