It was a rare privilege to attend the Promotion and Installation Ceremony for my fellow F-4 ’84 Classmate Fr. Paul K. Hurley as he was promoted to Major General and installed as the 24th Chief of Chaplains of the US Army.
The ceremony was fantastic, and it was great to be in attendance with nearly 200 fellow USMA 1984 grads, dozens of Army personnel and Fr. Paul’s family & friends. The chapel was packed!
The outgoing Chief of Chaplains, Chaplain (MG) Donald Rutherford spoke, and ribbed Fr. Paul of the Red Sox/Yankees etc. rivalries (he of course is from NY). The history of the Chaplain Corps was read, to include the recent losses of Chaplains in the War on Terror. There was a scripture reading from Ephesians.
LTG H.R. McMaster (another ’84 classmate!) was the senior officer, and presented inspiring remarks and performed the swearing in ceremony. His passion and love for Our Army was on display, as was his immense respect for Fr. Paul. It was great to see Fr. Paul’s parents and family take part in the promotion as well.
I had not seen Fr. Paul since graduation, although we spoke once when he had a parish near Boston. He was the only other Massachusetts native around F-4, and it was great to have someone there besides myself with a proper accent!
He looked great, and gave a tremendous speech. I will always remember that he said the Chaplain needs to go “where it sucks most”. He has been living this mantra for 20 years, most of which while we have been at war. I am proud that such an inspiring man of God will be in a place of leadership where he can do so much good for so many. I PROMISE, I will be praying for Fr. Paul to succeed! The Chaplain Corps motto is “Pro Deo Et Patria” – for God and Country, and Fr. Paul has been a wonderful exemplar of this.
Here is the beautiful program from the ceremony: (in order of pages)
There was a reception at the Chapel at Ft. Myer, and I got to see many, many classmates whom I had not seen in 31 years (our graduation anniversary was the next day, May 23rd). I had many great conversations and along with Dave Wood (who was gracious to help me get there and to the party in Arlington afterwards – THANKS DAVE YOU ARE AWESOME) we had a great time. There is a photo of all from USMA ’84 who attended, and I will add it to this blog when available. From F-4, we had Fr. Paul, Dave Wood, Larry Carroll and his wife, and Jim Kelly and his wife.
The conversations and the celebration continued at Ireland’s Four Corners pub in Arlington. (fitting for a son of Hibernia!). The celebration and the night was great. Fr. Paul’s mother asked for us to sing the “Alma Mater” and I think that it was heard all the way to Annapolis! (BEAT NAVY!)
Here is the awesome cake that says it all:
Much credit goes to Steve Epling for organizing this after party and more – and Mike Kwinn too. I have only recently been made aware of all the class activities through Steve’s efforts and I appreciate them greatly.
God Bless you Fr. Paul and I will keep you in my prayers!