The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Kenneth Velo

DePaul University
Chicago, IL

Sponsor: Rep. Rahm Emanuel, (D-IL)
Date of Prayer: 09/21/2005

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. EMANUEL. Madam Speaker, it is my great pleasure to recognize and welcome Monsignor Velo , one of Chicago's most distinguished religious leaders, as today's guest chaplain.

Born on Chicago's south side, the Monsignor was ordained in 1973. In 1985, Monsignor Velo became the executive assistant to the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, a position he held for 14 years. Monsignor Velo and Cardinal Bernardin were close friends, and it was Monsignor Velo who cared for Cardinal Bernardin's mother after the Cardinal passed away.

Impressed by his reputation as a public servant, the late Pope John Paul, II appointed Monsignor Velo to be president of the Catholic Church Extension Society. Today he is senior executive of the Office of Catholic Collaboration at DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the country, located in Chicago's Lincoln Park.

Monsignor Velo is an important Chicagoan with an impressive background and résumé. But more important, Monsignor Velo is a humanitarian who has dedicated his life to God and to improving the lives of everyone around him. Chicago is blessed by Monsignor Velo . Madam Speaker, I thank him for his service and for being here today.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

E Pluribus Unum, out of many one, is not only an expression fundamental to these United States, but also a reality we experience so often, and you visit each day as you seek consensus in this great chamber.

So many differences, yet one great nation, America.

If there is one desire we all have it is peace. Let us bow our heads as one, for though there are varied religious traditions here it is faith and service that calls us together.

Our prayer this day includes family and friends, young and old. Our thoughts embrace the poor, the sick and the less fortunate. Our remembrances recall our beloved dead.

For the people of the Middle East, for our women and men serving there and beyond, give peace, O God, give peace again.

For our brothers and sisters on the Gulf Coast, and in particular, New Orleans and Biloxi, and in these days Texas as well, give peace, O God, give peace again.

For those who suffer in mind and body, those in pain from grief or loss, give peace, O God, give peace again.

May those who are homeless have shelter, sick have comfort, and dying have dignity.

May those who are hungry have bread and may we who have bread hunger for justice and peace.


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