The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Val J. Peter

Girls and Boys Town USA
Boys Town, NE

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Lee Terry, (R-NE)
Date of Prayer: 05/25/2005

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. TERRY. Madam Speaker, I have the honor of extending a warm welcome to Father Val J. Peter, our guest chaplain in the House of Representatives today. And I also want to thank him for his heartfelt moving prayer.

Father Val is a native Nebraskan and has been the fourth executive director for Girls and Boys Town USA, with 20 years of service to Girls and Boys Town. Father Peter is renowned as one of the principal supporters of youth in the world.

Father Peter once said, "We are like strong swimmers. When a child is floundering, we have a moral obligation to plunge in and help the child out of harm's way. Girls and Boys Town is not only to save children from harm but to make them whole again so they can become a strong, positive force that will touch other lives."

As the Bible's Book of Psalms, chapter 127, verses 3 through 5 says: "Behold, children are a blessing from the Lord. Like the arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them."

Father Val is undoubtedly one of the happiest and most devoted men I have ever had the privilege to meet. Father Val Peter began his service to Girls and Boys Town in 1985. Twenty years later, as he now nears his retirement, the following words he wrote about Girls and Boys Town's ongoing work have never rung truer: "In the midst of apathy, we bring enthusiasm. In the midst of despair, we bring hope. In the midst of burdensome bureaucracies, we bring an entrepreneurial spirit. In the midst of violence, we bring the hope of peace." Father Val Peter has earned the gratitude of thousands of children and families across America.

Madam Speaker, I know I speak for my colleagues when I say we are honored to have Father Val Peter here with us today.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Dear Lord, we come before You on this fine morning to ask Your blessings on this House this day.

Give wisdom and humility to all Representatives in their work today.

May they seek what will bring light and goodness to the world. May they achieve what is best for our people.

Let us each this day do one blessed thing for another person. Let us each this day ask pardon from another person.

Bless and keep safe those who are in the service of our beloved country.

And Lord, bless all the children, especially those who are hurt and suffering. Send people to put joy and happiness into their hearts. We ask this in Your Name.


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