USS Lafayette SSBN 616
Chaplain's Page

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If you know of any Lafayette shipmate on Sick Call, departed on Eternal Patrol, 
or just in need of prayer, please contact the Association Chaplin:      

The Submarine Verses are:

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Who's arm has bound the restless wave.
Who bids the mighty ocean deep,
It's own appointed limits keep.
Dear Lord, we lift our prayer to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

Lord God, our power ever more,
Whose arm doth reach the ocean floor,
Dive with our men beneath the sea;
Traverse the depths protectively.
O hear us when we pray and keep,
Them safe from peril in the deep.

Lord, guard and guide the men who man
The submarines that guard our land.
Be with them always night and day,
In quiet depths or roaring spray.
O hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea.

Bless those who serve beneath the deep,
Through lonely hours their vigil keep.
May peace their mission ever be,
Protect each one, we ask of Thee.
Bless those at home who wait and pray
For their return by night and day.

Updated: 8/14/2017
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John Fornicola
The Original Words are:

Verse 1:    Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, 
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea! 

Verse 2:    O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Verse 3:    Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea! 

Verse 4:    O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour; 
From rock and tempest, fire and foe, 
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.
Navy Hymn

The "Navy Hymn" is Eternal Father, Strong to Save

The original words were written as a poem in 1860 by William Whiting of Winchester, England, for a student who was about to sail for the United States. The melody, published in 1861, was composed by fellow Englishman, Rev. John Bacchus Dykes, an Episcopalian clergyman. 

The hymn, found in most hymnals, is known as the "Navy hymn" because it is sung at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. It is also sung on ships of the Royal Navy (U.K.) and has been translated into French.

Eternal Father was the favorite hymn of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was sung at his funeral in Hyde Park, New York, in April 1945. It was also played by the Navy Band in 1963 as President John F. Kennedy's body was carried up the steps of the U.S. Capitol to lie in state. Roosevelt had served as Secretary of the Navy and Kennedy was a PT boat commander in World War II.
The Submariner's Prayer

Almighty, Everlasting God, and the Protector of all those who put their trust in Thee: hear our prayers in behalf of Thy servants who sail their vessels beneath the seas.

We beseech Thee to keep in Thy sustaining care all who are in submarines, that they may be delivered from the hidden dangers of the deep.

Grant them courage, and a devotion to fulfill their duties, that they may better serve Thee and their native land.

Though acquainted with the depths of the ocean, deliver them from the depths of despair and the dark hours of the absence of friendliness and grant them a good ship's spirit.

Bless all their kindred and loved ones from whom they are separated.

When they surface their ships, may they praise Thee for Thou art there as well as in the deep?

Fill them with Thy Spirit that they may be sure in their reckonings, unwavering in duty, high in purpose, and upholding the honor of their nation.

Please submit any request to Chaplain John Fornicola
Monthly Moments for Meditation

August 2017

Be a good example!

I have been praying lately that the Lord would help me align my thoughts, words, and actions with His Word, so that others would see Him through me. Along these lines, I recently read a weekly devotional, “Thoughts for Thursday” from one of the men I admire, Coach Keith Champion, which I modified, that talks about a good example.

There are not many things as important as the way we go about living life. People are watching us every day as we go through our normal daily routines. They watch our walk, listen to our talk, and are able to find out the things that are important to us just by observing what we do. An old English classical scholar, Thomas Morell, put it this way, “The first great gift that we can bestow on others is a good example.

We are in a day and age where we see many bad examples: people who harm others, people who burn our flag, people who don’t stand for our national anthem, and much more. One individual’s good influence can be an encouragement to others and give them hope in the days in which we live. We would be amazed if we knew the ‘trickle down’ effect that our lives have on others.

Years ago a teaching colleague gave Coach Champion a framed poem that he has hanging in his office. It remains an inspiration to him as he frequently will allow its words to remind him of the great responsibility of a proper influence. It reads:

“My Influence
My life shall touch a dozen lives
Before this day is done.
Leave countless marks for good or ill,
Ere sets the evening sun.
So this the wish I always wish 
The prayer I always pray.
Lord may my life help other lives,
It touches by the way.”

The first book of Timothy, chapter 4 verse 12 reads in part, “be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

May your walk have a positive impact on those whose paths you cross today and every day. You might be the only good example that they see in their dark day.

​Chaplain John