The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend James Rousakis

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Clearwater, FL

Sponsor: Rep. Hon. Gus Bilirakis, (R-FL)
Date of Prayer: 07/23/2008

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Bilirakis) is recognized for 1 minute.

There was no objection.

Mr. BILIRAKIS. Madam Speaker, I rise today to welcome a good friend and inspired leader from Tampa Bay, Father James Rousakis of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater, Florida.

I have known Father James for nearly 20 years and have become a big admirer of him, as well as his wonderful wife, Presvytera Vasiliki, an incredible woman who is just as much a leader at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church as Father James.

When I asked Father James what compelled him to a life in the church when he was on a completely different career path at age 23, he said he was attending Holy Thursday church services during Easter and a compelling voice said over his left shoulder, ‘‘You need to be here every day!'' Listening to that voice, Father James became ordained as a priest in 1971, and the rest is history.

He has served the Orthodox faithful in Rochester, New York; Atlanta, Georgia; Portland, Maine; Indianapolis; and now Clearwater Florida. As Vicar of the Tampa Bay Greek Orthodox Church for the Metropolis of Atlanta, Father James Rousakis will begin his 18th year of pastorship in my district. With his boundless energy, Father James has helped to foster incredible growth in the membership and ministries at Holy Trinity.

Madam Speaker, I wish Father James many more years of compassionate and enlightened service in the Tampa Bay area, and am glad that he didn't ignore that profound voice 45 years ago.

Welcome, Father James.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

Let us pray! Almighty God, being glorified at all times, knowing that we can do nothing without divine guidance; send your blessings and direct to divine wisdom and power the members of the United States House of Representatives that they may accomplish their task faithfully and diligently, being profitable to the United States of America. Be their light when the day is dark; their fortress in the hour of temptation, a house of defense to save them; their strength when the flesh is weak and the spirit depressed; their courage in the hour of danger and adversity and their hope when all other hope fails. Grant them perfect health of mind and body. Direct their thoughts in the way of truth and they may enact, order and enforce those laws that are true and just. Enlighten them to govern and lead the United States in the way of prosperity and righteousness. Amen.

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