West Point community celebrates Spiritual Warrior Week

By Brandon O’Connor Assistant Editor

March 7th, 2019 | News, News and Features
  A performance by Hillsong NYC in Robinson Auditorium was a part of Spiritual Warrior Week Feb. 19-24.                      Photo by Class of 2020 Cadet Bobby Norwood

The West Point community celebrated Spiritual Warrior Week Feb. 19-24 with 16 events across multiple religions.
The week’s worth of events was centered on the annual National Prayer Breakfast, which traditionally takes place the Thursday after Presidents Day at West Point.
“What we have done with the blessing of the garrison commander and leadership here at West Point, I proposed having one week where we focus on the spiritual aspects,” Lt. Col. Robert Marsi, garrison chaplain, said. “We do so much here at West Point already, but we do this to consolidate and get some visibility on the great programs we have. We took that event (the prayer breakfast) and built around it with other events at the various chapels. We put together a whole week that the West Point community, cadets, family members and staff and faculty can join in.”
The events throughout the week included Catholic, Muslim and Jewish prayer services and open houses, which were all open to the entire community and not just those who practice those faiths. The goal of the events, Marsi said, was to build community by welcoming people into the different chapels and letting them spend time together in prayer.
“We have some of the best facilities in the Army in our chapels and worship facilities,” Marsi said. “For some people, this may be the first time they’ve taken the chance to come in. Also, it gives us a chance to express faith, which is our responsibilities as chaplains. It is designed to be a unifying event. Although we have separate events, they are all open to anyone of different faiths to come in and experience and share time together.”
Along with the open houses and prayer breakfast, the week also included a performance by Hillsong NYC in Robinson Auditorium, community physical fitness opportunities, a revival at the Cadet Chapel and more. The prayer breakfast and revival featured Dr. J. Randall O’Brien, president of Carson-Newman University, as guest speaker.
Marsi said they hold spiritual Warrior Week to help show the importance of faith in the Army community and the role having a vibrant religious community has in promoting and ensuring Army readiness.