The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Most Reverend Thomas Wenski

Coadjutor Bishop of Orlando, Florida
Orlando, FL

Sponsor: Rep. Hon. Mark Foley, (R-FL)
Date of Prayer: 10/17/2003

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

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WELCOMING THE MOST REVEREND THOMAS WENSKI –– (House of Representatives – October 17, 2003)


[Page: H9619] GPO's PDF
––– (Mr. FOLEY asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. FOLEY. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure and high honor to have Bishop Wenski visiting with us today. The Bishop was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, and grew up in Lake Worth, my hometown, where he attended Catholic school at his home parish, Sacred Heart.

Bishop Wenski has provided for the pastoral and spiritual needs of the Haitian communities of south Florida. Through the 1980s, he conducted a circuit–riding ministry that led him to help establish Haitian–Catholic communities from Homestead in the south to Fort Pierce to the north, Immokalee to the west and Fort Lauderdale to the east.

In late 1996, he spearheaded a relief operation that delivered over 150,000 pounds of food to Caritas Cuba, the social service arm of the Catholic Church in Cuba, for distribution to people left homeless by Hurricane Lilly. This was the first time that Cubans in Miami participated in a humanitarian relief effort directed to their native land of Cuba.

In 2001, Governor Jeb Bush appointed him to the Florida Council on Homelessness.

Bishop Wenski speaks Haitian, Creole and Spanish fluently and preaches and celebrates mass regularly in both languages. He also has knowledge of Polish, the language of his immigrant father and Polish–American mother, as is my family of Polish–American descent.

Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Wenski as coadjutor bishop of the Dioceses of Orlando on July 1, and I know the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Keller) and the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Mica) and the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Feeney), among others, join me in welcoming their new bishop of Orlando. He is the only native Floridian serving as bishop in our great State of Florida, and Bishop Wenski's motto is: All things to all men, Corinthians 9:22.

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Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

O God, all powerful Creator and loving father of all mankind, Maker of nature and nature's law:

You are the source of the inalienable rights which our union was formed to protect and to promote.

We ask You to look lovingly upon this Congress as its Members convene this morning to seek to provide for the common good of our people.

You know what is in the human heart and You justly judge the rectitude of our intentions.

May these representatives in their deliberations today be guided by Your wisdom.

And, may they rely on the protection of Your Divine Providence which You in Your goodness have extended over our Nation from its beginnings.

Amen.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory