The bishop of the Des Moines Catholic Diocese delivered the opening prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday.
“We seek your light in our midst this day for each woman and man of this house, each entrusted to cooperate in the making of just laws which promote the flourishing of human freedom,” says Bishop Richard Pates.
First-term Congressman David Young, a Republican from Van Meter, invited Pates to be a guest chaplain in the House.
“Let your light break forth among these, our public servants,” Pates said. “Give us faith that as each new day is bright with promise so, too, is your spirit’s power to transform blame and bitterness into concord and unity for the sake of the common good.”
AUDIO of Pate’s prayer
Pates also was Congressman Young’s guest in the House on Tuesday evening for the president’s “State of the Union” speech. From 1975 to 1981 Pates served in Washington, D.C., as secretary to the Vatican’s representative in the United States. During that six-year period he also was the weekend assisting priest at a Catholic church in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He has been the bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines for nearly seven years. The diocese covers 82 Catholic parishes in central and southwest Iowa, serving over 90,000 Catholics.