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30th Annual Prayer Breakfast

Posted in: February 2013
Jan 30, 2013 - 2:38:07 PM

On Tuesday, February 12th, the Delaware National Guard will host its 30th Annual Prayer Breakfast.


The breakfast will take place at 7:00 a.m. at the Cavalier Country Club, Old Churchman's Road, Newark, Del.


Thirty years ago, a young Army National Guard Chaplain named Father Dan Gerres began this prayer service, scheduled on the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent.  Since that time, the Annual Prayer Service has broadened to include people of all faiths.  This year invitations were sent to the Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jewish and Islamic communities.  The Delaware National Guard is comprised of people who identify themselves as members of such faith communities.


"This is a significant milestone for the Prayer Breakfast," commented Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Adjutant General, Delaware National Guard.  "Many of us, as Service Members, serve God and Country; faith is an important fabric of service, especially when thrust in harm’s way," he continued.


This year's speaker is Chaplain Brig. Gen. Alphonse Stephenson, Director of the National Guard Bureau Office of the Chaplain.  Ordained as a Priest in 1975, Father Stephenson continues to serve as a minister, educator and professional musician.  He is the former conductor and music director of "A Chorus Line" at the Shubert Theatre in New York City.  He is also the founder of the only professional union orchestra in the U.S., The Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea, based in New Jersey.  The mission of that orchestra is to serve as a fundraising vehicle for charitable organizations.  Along with those, he is the founder and President of The Cecelia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit foundation awarding professional quality musical instruments to promising, young, talented students.


In his role as Director of the National Guard Bureau Office of the Chaplain, he serves as an advisor on religious, ethics, ecclesiastical relations and spiritual care and quality of life issues to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau.  He is also the Religious Affairs Advisor to the National Guard State Partnership Program.  He is a graduate of Saint Mary's College, Saint Mary, KY; Saint Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD; Julliard School of Music, New York, NY; and Monmouth University where he earned his Doctorate.


"This promises to be an incredible morning that is both music and spirit filled.  Chaplain Stephenson will entertain you while bringing a fresh approach to seeing God at work in our lives," commented Lt. Col. Ed Brandt, State Chaplain, Delaware National Guard.

Tickets are $15 and may only be purchased in advance.  For more information, contact Chaplain Brandt at 302-326-7718 or


The breakfast will take place at 7:00 a.m. at the Cavalier Country Club, Old Churchman's Road, Newark, Del and end promptly at 9:00 a.m.

The media is invited to attend the event.

For more information contact Sgt. Wendy McDougall at 302-270-0720 or LTC Len Gratteri at 302-540-0134.



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