The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Joseph A. Escobar

St. Anthony's Catholic Church
Pawtucket, RI

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, (D-RI)
Date of Prayer: 06/19/2001

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to welcome Father Joseph Escobar of St. Anthony's Church in Pawtucket, Rhode Island as our guest chaplain.

Established in 1926, St. Anthony's has long served Rhode Island's English and Portuguese–speaking communities.

The large influx of Portuguese immigrants to Rhode Island resulted in the first Portuguese parish in the State, Holy Rosary Parish in 1885. Next was St. Elizabeth's, in Bristol in 1913. It was soon followed by St. Francis Xavier in East Providence in 1915; and St. Anthony's was added in 1926, along with its mission at Little Compton.

Father Escobar will soon be leaving to transition to be the pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Providence, his hometown. Father Escobar was educated in East Providence public schools before attending Providence College, my alma mater, where he received a BA in mathematics. He completed his seminary studies at the Dominican House of Studies right here in the Washington, D.C. area.
He was soon ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis X. Roque in Washington, D.C. on May 20, 1988, and returned to Providence College where he worked towards a Master's Degree in the Religious Studies program.

He served as assistant pastor at St. Pius the Fifth Church in Providence, and St. Elizabeth Church in Bristol, Rhode Island. Father Escobar has been the administrator of St. Anthony's Parish in Pawtucket since 1977. He was incardinated into the diocese of Providence in 2000.

Mr. Speaker, I am sure that parishioners of St. Anthony's will miss him as much as his new flock at Our Lady of the Rosary are looking forward to greeting him. It was an honor and privilege to welcome Father Escobar to this United States House of Representatives, and I thank him for his invocation.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Let us remember that we are one Nation under God.

O God, our help, our justice, hear our prayer as we begin this session of the House of Representatives. Enlighten our deliberations by the light of Your law, so that our legislation may reflect Your divine wisdom. May we keep before our eyes the truth that we have been created in Your image, that each man and woman has a dignity which we have been empowered to preserve and to protect.

Help us to see that dignity in each other and in those who have empowered us to serve. May we build a society wherein we can live in a harmony which reflects the harmony in which You created our world. We place our confidence in Your saving help this day and every day, for in You we trust. Amen.

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