The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Joseph F. Sica

Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church
Clarks Summit, PA

Sponsor: Rep. Hon. Don Sherwood, (R-PA)
Date of Prayer: 02/27/2002

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

(Mr. SHERWOOD asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. SHERWOOD. Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to welcome as our guest chaplain Father Joe Sica of Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Father Joe for this wonderful invocation. I have known Father Joe for a long time. He is a good man, a great friend, and a wonderful priest.

Father Joe Sica grew up in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, and began his service to the church at a very young age. As a child, he donated much of his time to St. Rocco's Church, and it was there he began to realize his dream of becoming a priest.

After high school he entered the University of Pennsylvania and Saint Pius X Seminary, where he earned his degree in philosophy and theology. He then took his scholarly talents and spiritual determination and continued his education at the Catholic University of America and the Theological College.

There he wrote his book, ‘‘God So Loved the World,'' which is one of the foremost works in Carl Rhaner's ‘‘Theology of Revelation.'' He also published many articles in several journals, and Father Joe's monthly column, ‘‘Miracle Growth: A Seed of Inspiration,'' that runs in Catholic newspapers across the country.

In every assignment at every parish, Father Joe Sica has been involved with the work of his community. He has organized retreats for parishioners, helped parents and teachers associations; and while he was in my hometown, he was a member of the Rotary International, and a fine volunteer firefighter at the Triton Hose Company.

However, one of his most impressive accomplishments that I have had the pleasure of witnessing was Father Joe's creation of the Helping Other People Program in Tunkhannock. This program coordinated the efforts of several local churches and their parishioners to provide transportation, meals, home repairs, house cleaning, and many other services to those in need.

Father Joe was given the Sam Walton Award, and the Tunkhannock Chamber of Commerce gave him a certificate of excellence for his effort.

In October of 2000, the Columbus Day Association of Lackawanna County named Father Joe their Man of the Year. They commended him for taking risks, for being able to dream, and to work and make those dreams come true.

I can say without hesitation that Father Joe Sica is not just the Man of the Year, but a man of the people whose good deeds and inspiration never cease.

Mr. Speaker, I again would like to thank Father Joe Sica for being here today. His presence and his blessing on this House mean so much to me and the people I represent. ;

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Father Joseph F. Sica, Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, offered the following prayer:

Father, we thank You for today, a new beginning filled with unlimited possibilities to make wholesome differences in the lives represented by these men and women of our United States Congress.

Father, by faith we welcome You into our lives and accept the love You have for us.

Your love elevates us as we rise above our heartaches, hassles, troubles, setbacks, disappointments by turning them over to You.

Your love liberates us to let go of panic, worry, anxiety, depression, low self–worth, and addictions.

Your love motivates a desire inside each of us to find a need and fill it, to find a hurt and heal it.

Father, Your love demonstrates You care, understand, and forgive, giving us the strength to carry on, casting aside our fears, knowing we can survive. It is perhaps through love that You give us a glimpse of eternity.

Hold this great Nation of America in the palm of Your hand as we make this prayer today in Your holy name. Amen.

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