A LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Chapel of Four Chaplains has undergone a remarkable transformation that is clearly reflected in all of the activity that is being posted on our webpage and our Facebook page. The program of our organization is in full swing once again all over the country, and with a renewed international flavor involving Asia and Europe. As I travel all over this nation representing the Chapel at various Legion of Honor ceremonies, I am amazed at how vigorous the story of the USAT DORCHESTER and the Four Chaplains are still being celebrated and recognized. There are numerous memorials in stained glass including two that we most recently discovered at the Veterans Cemetery Chapel in Arneytown, New Jersey, and at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. There are stone monuments, eternal flames and bronze memorials in almost every state, including the two that I just visited in Sebastian, Florida and at St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church in Kearney, New Jersey.
But the strongest and most overwhelming sense of the renewed life of this organization is the increasingly active participation by the many veteran groups such as the American Legion, the VFW, the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Marine Corps League, the Navy League, The Association of the US Army, and so forth. I have a sense that the celebration of the sacrifice of the Four Chaplains, and the DORCHESTER incident are a legacy that people everywhere want to connect with. Consequently, the nominations for Legion of Honor awards have hit new high levels and diversity of impact, and our Youth Essay Scholarship competition has reached hundreds of students nationwide.
As Board Chairman, I cannot remain silent about our financial situation which, while having very much improved, is still far away from declaring that we are financially stable. I say this because we have reduced the losses in our annual operating budget to significantly lower numbers, primarily due to increased giving and the drastic reduction of our operating expenses. The Chapel’s direct program operations now account for over 80% of our entire budget. We want to devote even a higher percentage of our budget to increased program outreach, but we cannot do so without an increase in both our number of supporters and in the amounts given. Therefore, I ask that you consider to join or to continue your membership and support of this unique organization. Please use the enclosed prepaid envelope to write us, to tell us about your connection to this Chapel, and to support us financially so that we can count upon you as one who has contributed to the rebirth and revival of the Chapel of Four Chaplains. Allow us to continue to recognize ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things in the legacy of the selfless sacrifice and interfaith cooperation of the Four Chaplains.
IN THIS ISSUE
A LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR .
SPECIAL HONORS AND RECOGNITION.
ANNUAL FOUR CHAPLAINS DAY AWARDS DINNER
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM OUR SUPPORTERS.
LEGION OF HONOR AWARD PRESENTATIONS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
IN MEMORY OF
A LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Christine M. Beady
As many of us have learned, life has an interesting and sometimes unexpected way of knocking on our door when we least expect it. I am here as a result of a knock. I am certain this is exactly where I should be. Most importantly, it is where I choose to be.
Throughout the past 3 years, my thoughts of the Four Chaplains have been strong and positive, although I never knew anything about this organization prior to my time here, and certainly never thought of the notion of leading the organization. I have focused on my business career over the years, managing organizations, devoting time to family life and ultimately landing here.
While times have changed and today’s non-profit organizations face challenges daily, I am certain of this: I will do everything in my power to continue the legacy of the Four Chaplains. This commitment is unwavering and selfless.
The stories of families both of survivors and of the perished are cherished here within the Chapel. I thank all of our generous contributors over the years for selflessly giving in order to continue a blessed legacy.
As I pass through the Chapel every day, I am aware of the distinct and remarkable presence of the Four Chaplains and the members of the Dorchester who either survived or passed on that dreadful evening of February 3, 1943. I continue to see all of the wonderful lives that have been touched by this amazing legacy.
I know we have not even begun to see the possibilities of the full potential of taking the time to tell this beautiful story of selfless service and sacrifice. I am grateful for all of the incredible work that has already been done by so many of you, while knowing we have many challenges yet to conquer.
Let’s walk together in partnership, in faith, purpose and with a strong vision of the future of the Chapel of Four Chaplains – a future that holds unlimited possibilities for all of the wonderful individuals that we have yet to be informed about with our Legion of Honor Program or all of the students that we have not even touched yet with our Scholarship Competition.
Many heartfelt thanks again to all of you for your continued commitment and generosity. Please contact me at ChristineBeady@FourChaplains.org with any questions and/or concerns.
SPECIAL HONORS AND RECOGNITION MORE THAN A STORY
Acquaint, or reacquaint, yourself with The Chapel of Four Chaplains. By Matt Grills – February 1, 2015
In October, 2014 Matt Grills from the American Legion Magazine visited the Chapel to do a story about our existence. We were extremely honored to have this story featured in the February 2015 American Legion magazine during the time of the anniversary of the sinking of the Dorchester. Please take a moment to review the article at http://www.legion.org/magazine/225769/more-story. Thank you to Mr. Grills, the American Legion headquarters and the American Legion Magazine for this wonderful recognition.
THE CHAPLAINS’ CHAMPION – 2014 Difference Maker
By Joseph Myers, Managing Editor, South Philadelphia Review Newspaper
“We’re a very ‘me first’ generation,” Christine M. Beady recently observed of contemporary society. “I believe we need to bring back a lasting sense of sacrifice and help people, especially younger generations, realize the world is greater than them.”
The 41-year-old has made her professional journey an advertise- ment for altruism, with The Chapel of the Four Chaplains, 1201
Constitution Ave., benefiting from her benevolence since February
2012. As The Philadelphia Navy Yard-situated location’s Executive Director, she has worked tirelessly to tout a mission with World War II roots.
“I just love the story,” the resident of the 2900 block of South
Carlisle Street said of the Feb. 3, 1943 decision by four chaplains to give their life jackets to personnel aboard the U.S.A.T Dorchester, a victim of a submarine-issued torpedo. “Their legacy needs preservation, and I love being involved because I am truly committed to the mission of recognizing ordinary people for doing extraordinary things.”
The chapel, which President Harry S. Truman dedicated in ’51, had fallen on difficult financial times in the two decades before Beady arrived, but since she immersed herself in being a selfless preserver of the holy men’s example, it has again become a behemoth at acknowledging charity. The Marconi inhabitant has enjoyed connecting with families of the mishap’s 672 casualties and 230 survivors, as well as chapel constituents, with the 63-year-old worship site’s Legion of Honor and Scholarship programs, among others, regaining regard.
“This is a cemetery for the deceased in many ways,” Beady said. “We have to engage people to know what can come from not always thinking about ourselves.”
Outside of the reverential space, the South Philadelphia High School Alumnus rears two children with husband Brian and involves herself with such organizations and endeavors as the John W. Hallahan High School Mother’s Club, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Buddy Walk and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for St. Richard Parish, 3010 S. 18th St. Much like the chapel’s namesakes and program honorees, Beady never seeks distinction, with her Difference Maker status proving “shocking.”
“It’s a huge honor to know of the receptivity to what we do here,” she said. “I’m just trying to rejuvenate awareness of the rewards of being giving.”
FEBRUARY 3, 2015 – ANNUAL FOUR CHAPLAINS DAY AWARDS DINNER
The Chapel of Four Chaplains hosted its 47th Annual Four Chaplains Day Awards Dinner on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia, honoring Legion of Honor Gold Medallion recipients Ralph Galati, POW and Paul Sutton, USMC; Legion of Honor Humanitarian Award recipient Tom Minchin, USMC; and, Legion of Honor Award recipient Francey Burke, Burke Motor Group of Cape May County.
Pictured above: Four Chaplains Awardees with Christine Beady
(far left) and Capt. Lou Cavaliere (far right).
Pictured above: Dorchester Family Members Capt. Cavaliere, Lynn Chickering, Andrew Calandriello and Chapel Exec. Dir. Christine Beady
Pictured above: Members, Board of Directors and Staff.
Pictured above: Maritime Academy Charter High School Color Guard, Philadelphia, PA with Board Member Chaplain Shakur Abdul-Ali.
Pictured above: Vietnam Veterans of America banquet guests. Pictured above: Four Chaplains and POW memory recognition.
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM OUR SUPPORTERS
This is the Scarano Chalice that is prominently displayed at the Chapel of Four Chaplains. There is a very interesting story about the life and sacrifice of Vietnam Veteran Charles Patrick Scarano and how this chalice, given in his memory, made its way to the foundation which will be featured in a future newsletter.
How the Four Chaplains Shaped My Ministry By Chaplain Major Dallas L. Little, USAF
From time to time I enjoy reflecting on the many tools God uses to direct our paths and offer us grace. As I reflect on my twelve years of active duty military service so far, I’m thankful for God’s use of The Four Chaplains to direct my path. These heroes played significant roles in my decision to enter active duty Air Force chaplaincy.
I was blessed to receive my first assignment out of the seminary in the beautiful “Emerald Coast” region of northwest Florida. I was assigned as associate pastor to First United Methodist Church of Fort Walton Beach. In those first years of ministry I was taken under the wing of several retired military members of the church who were active in the town’s American Legion Post 235. I was fortunate that one of those mentors was helping organize a Four Chaplains Memorial Service, and she invited me to read the part and light the candle for Chaplain George Fox as he and I were of the same denomination.
The memorial was an incredible experience for me, filled as it was with the heroism and gallantry of the now-familiar story which was then unfolding for me for the first time. A Coast Guardsman was even on hand to strike the memorial bell. I remember being especially moved by the collegiality of those brave chaplains across denominational lines; this dynamic was heightened as for me during the service as I sat directly beside a Jewish active duty Air Force chaplain from nearby Eglin Air Force Base who was on hand to read the part of Chaplain Alexander Goode. This was the first rabbi as well as the first military chaplain I had ever personally met, and the experience was intriguing. I had not seriously con- sidered military chaplaincy as a possible setting for my ministry, but the idea seemed both auspicious and exciting as I considered the range of military ministry opportunities and settings, and the rewards and challenges of the interfaith ministry so integral to such an endeavor. These factors all seemed to coalesce in a dynamic way as we reflected on the service and integrity of the Four Chaplains.
The story of the Four Chaplains, as well as this setting for experiencing it for the first time, also framed an important aspect of military service that pressed itself into my spirit that day. The lives of these chaplains and their gallant deaths, brought vividly to life by mostly retired military personnel, illustrated the high calling sacrifice must play for the military member. The price that might be paid, and the spirit of commitment so necessary to the ideal of laying down one’s life for one’s friends, so vividly enacted by the story, were important messages clearly imparted. I found my curiosity about this ministry venue piqued, and I found it grounded in both the ultimate sacrifice of these chaplains and the honorable service of the retired military members who brought the story to life for me that day.
I found myself striking up more conversations with that Jewish chaplain I’d worked with after the event concluded. Eventually I visited his installation and got to know more of the active duty chaplains in my area. These friendships opened a door through which God led me into my current vocation – six months before 9/11 occurred.
I look back over these twelve years so far and consider the people I’ve met, the deployments, overseas assignments, and all the other happenings that make up a military life. I remember the interfaith worship services and discussion groups that have brought me joy to provide to a new generation of believers fighting a new war, not all that different surely than the collective assembled on the USAT Dorchester that fateful February in 1943. I consider the combat zones I’ve traversed and a few close calls outside the wire, and the solemn duty of performing death notifications for next-of- kin of brothers and sisters in arms that didn’t make it back. Through all of this I see the sacrifice required of the service member, so clearly illustrated to me at the outset by the Four Chaplains. I see their brave service, their strength of spirit, and I feel the faith of their commitments to both God and country as I consider the challenges that confront me and all other current service members. And I’m thankful to God for using them in my life as we endeavor to live their embodied ideals into the future.
Author: Chaplain, Major Dallas Little is an active duty Air Force chaplain and United Methodist pastor, with interests in pastoral care of trauma and PTSD as well as interfaith dialogue. He is stationed in northern California at Travis Air Force Base with his wife Janice and children Trevor and Zoe.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, the U.S. Government or The Chapel of Four Chaplains. This article has been cleared for public release by Air Force Public Affairs.
Copyright © 2013 by Dallas L. Little. All Rights reserved.
Gary Swanson receiving the “Legion of Honor Humanitarian Award” from JWV Post Commander Sheldon Turetsky, on behalf of The Chapel of Four Chaplains at Special Awards Ceremony. Provided by: Sheldon Turetsky, Commander, JWV MO-KAN Post 605.
LEGION OF HONOR AWARD PRESENTATIONS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
Gary Swanson Receives Legion Of Honor Award From The Chapel Of
In a special awards ceremony on March 12, 2015 at the Jewish Community Center, Gary Swanson of Leawood was presented a Legion of Honor Human- itarian Award issued by the Chapel of Four Chaplains. Swanson was honored for his many years of work for veterans under numerous organizations and programs, as well as his own solo efforts. Since its inception in 1951, The Chapel of Four Chaplains seeks to encourage observation of the unity which binds together Americans of all faiths. Patriotic in nature, the Chapel celebrates the characteristic generosity, devotion to God and Country, and love of fellowman which we share in common. Legion of Honor awards have
previously been presented to Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Carter and Reagan; luminaries such as Bob Hope, John Glenn, Martha Raye, James Michener, Marian Anderson, C. Everett Koop, Tommy Lasorda, and Shirley Chisolm; as well as military personnel, veterans, and civilians from all walk of life nationwide. See photo of Swanson being presented the award by Jewish War Veterans Post 605 Commander on behalf of The Chapel of Four Chaplains.
On March 8, 2015, The Chapel of Four Chaplains honored the victims of the Sewol ferry boat tragedy in which over 275 Korean High School students were killed last April 16th. In the midst of that tragedy, two young women, a school teacher named Hye Jeong Choi, (pictured to the left), and a crew deck hand by the name of Ji Young Park, (to the right), led many young students to safety while sacrificing their own life. The Legion of Honor Gold Medallions were presented posthumously in their memory to their mothers who traveled all the way from Korea to be in attendance.
NOTE: Our Legion of Honor Program (LOH) is strong and growing. If you are a past LOH recipient, please remember that you are able to nominate “ordinary people for doing extraordinary things” also. Please contact us for the most up to date guidelines and nomination forms.
IN MEMORY OF
On February 16, 2015, we were saddened by the death of Dorchester Survivor, Leonard Sepers, USCG. Capt. Lou Cavaliere and Christine Beady attended the funeral services where Capt. Cavaliere presented the American Flag to Mr. Seper’s family and son Louis Sepers.
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THE CHAPEL OF FOUR CHAPLAINS National Headquarters
1201 Constitution Avenue – The Navy Yard, Bldg. 649 – Philadelphia, PA 19112 (215) 218-1943
THE CHAPEL OF FOUR CHAPLAINS
1201 Constitution Avenue
The Navy Yard, Bldg. 649