Published: April 15, 2007
Resurrection Sunday in Iraq
By Pfc. Bradley J. Clark
The Gospel Choir consisting of Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, sing "Christ the lord has Risen Today." The Gospel Choir was out in support of the Easter Sunrise Service April 8, at St. Elijah's Monastery on Forward Operating Base Marez, Mosul, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Bradley J. Clark, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)
Soldiers and civilian contractors stationed in the Ninewa Province were able to enjoy some of the Easter activities that they would normally participate in back in the United States.
A crowd of over 350 people gathered at St. Elijah's Monastery on FOB Marez, April 8, for an Easter Sunrise Service.
The service started promptly at 7 a.m. with a welcome speech from Chaplain (Maj.) Mitchell Butterworth, brigade chaplain, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
"It's resurrection Sunday!" Butterworth exclaimed at the start of the day's events.
During the service, in which several of the chaplains assigned throughout the brigade participated, The Easter Hymn was sung by Chaplain (Capt.) Jeremiah Catlin, Special Troops Battalion, and scriptures were read by Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Siemers, STB.
Chaplain (Capt.) John Perez, 25th Infantry Division, gives Spc. Daniel Schaeffer, a Soldier with the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, his first sacrament during Easter Mass at Fortress Chapel, Forward Operating Base Sykes, Tal-Afar, Iraq, April 8. Schaeffer received the first sacrament as part of his conversion process in order to marry his fiancée. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Bradley J. Clark, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)
The congregation also enjoyed special music that was performed by The Gospel Choir, made up of Soldiers from the 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Division.
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kenneth Stice, 25th Infantry Division, was the guest speaker for the service.
"Last year I didn't know I would be here," said Stice. "I wonder where God will take me next year?"
The service concluded with Chaplain (Capt.) Mark Cisco, 352nd Corps Support Battalion, giving the benediction.
Later on that day, Chaplain (Capt.) John Perez, 25th Infantry Division made a special Easter trip to FOB Sykes, in Tal-Afar, Iraq, to give 26 of the Soldiers and civilians there an Easter Mass.
While at the Fortress Chapel, Perez gave the first sacrament to Spc. Daniel Schaeffer, a member of the 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, who is converting to Catholicism to marry his fiancée.
Chaplain (Maj.) Mitchell Butterworth, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, presents Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kenneth Stice, 25th Infantry Division, a certificate of appreciation for being the guest speaker during the Easter Sunrise Service April 8, at St. Elijah's Monastery on Forward Operating Base Marez, Mosul, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Bradley J. Clark, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)
Following the mass at FOB Sykes, Perez then made a trip to Al Kisik to give 11 Soldiers, Sailors and Airman, who are part of the Military Transformation Team there, an evening Easter mass. It was the first time in over five months that a Catholic priest had visited Al Kisik.
Perez knows that the FOB hop was needed and intends to make the trip a regular thing.
"I would like to come at least once a month," said Perez. "When I am able to make the trip, I would like to stay longer than a couple of hours."
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