The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Message from the Chaplain
The Reverend Daniel P. Coughlin

Photograph of The Reverend Daniel P. CoughlinTo serve as Chaplain for the U.S. House of Representatives is truly an honor and a privilege. To be both a minister of the Lord and an officer serving the United States government responds to a twofold call to serve others and offer prayer that unites Heaven and Earth.

With 435 Members in the House and their staffs, plus all the other wonderful people who serve here with committee work or in the Chamber, including teenage Pages, my pastoral duties are many and varied. My goal is to meet the needs of this working community on a personal level. The problems that weigh on hearts and the confusion that at times blocks clarity of thinking become my concerns.

The formal prayer before each legislative session of Congress, and even before days of pro forma sessions, casts a light on the day that awakens faith and calls forth a nation to stand with its leaders and affirm: “In God We Trust.” But daily prayer for the Members of the House cannot end there.

I ask people across this great country to join me in praying for the Members of the House of Representatives. Know the Member of your congressional district by name and raise his or her name before God each day with us here in the nation’s capital.

Pray for me, also, that I may be always rooted in prayer and a good instrument for accomplishing God’s holy will here. Only by being free in the Spirit can I serve all the people here, regardless of their faith persuasion or denomination. Only by listening attentively to each person can I offer good counsel, encouragement, and gentle correction.

Thank you for your interest in and support of the Members of the House.

Opening Prayer

Reverend Tom Dore

Gracious Lord,
The members of the United States House of Representatives have been given the awesome responsibility and privilege of the stewardship of governance by the citizens of our country.

They must be truly grateful for the trust placed in them by those same citizens.

Today, I ask for your gift of wisdom, right judgment and hearts and minds open to your spirit.

I pray for the spirit of cooperation and collaboration as they seek to guide our country as it faces the many significant challenges both nationally and internationally.

Although there may be differences on how to accomplish specific goals, the members of the House must always keep in mind the inspiring vision of our founders; the common good of the people they serve.

Gracious and loving God, be with them in their deliberations for without your help and guidance the deliberations may prove limited and disappointing.


Thought of the Day

“Waiting – standing by – is a dimension that crosses all of our existence: personal, family and social. This waiting is found in a thousand situations, from those little, everyday ones all the way to the most important things, those which completely, deeply, wrap us up. Among these, let us think of the waiting for a child by a couple; those of a relative or friend who comes to visit us from afar; let us think, for a young person, of the waiting for the result of an important test, or a job interview; in emotional relationships, of the waiting for one's encounter with their beloved, of the response to a letter, or the acceptance of an apology... It could be said that man is alive while he waits, that in his heart hope is alive. And from these waitings man comes to know himself: our moral and spiritual "stature" can be measured by that for which we wait, by that in which we hope.

Each of us, then, especially in this time that prepares us for Christmas, can ask ourselves: what am I waiting for? What, in this moment of my life, reaches out of my heart? This same question can place itself in the context of family, of community, of nation. What do we wait for, together? What unites our hopes, what do we share?...
Let us learn... to live our daily duties with a new spirit, with the sense of a profound waiting, one only the coming of God can quench.”

—Pope Benedict XVI
Angelus Message, November 28, 2010

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