on this special day, age-old values
Ashley Anne Stegman, age 9, from Girl Scout Troup 363 in Warren, Michigan, offered the following invocation at the opening of the 111th Congress:
Dear friends, let us remind ourselves in this special place, on this special day, that we are in the presence of God.
Lord, we praise You at this historic moment. You are the loving Father of us all, the merciful, the compassionate, the source of all wisdom, the giver of all gifts.
We have so much to thank You for, dear God -- for our lives, our families, for our freedom and our opportunities, for our Nation and for the historic choice of leadership it has just made and, indeed, for the age-old values that are still enshrined in our Constitution and in our hearts.
Sustain the Members of the 111th Congress in courage and in confidence as they face the daunting needs of this special time. Challenge them, Lord, not to forget the hungry and the homeless, the unborn and the immigrant, those without access to good education or decent health care, and those many men and women caught in a cycle of poverty from which they cannot escape without our help.
Let our Representatives be builders of a better world--a world without war or violence, without oppression or corruption--builders of a new world whose foundations are human dignity, the values of family life and respect for the laws of nature.
Lord, we pray: Make us always proud of those we have chosen to lead us so that, with their leadership and Your loving care, You may always be proud of us and of these United States of America. Amen.
Sorry! It turns out Ashley was sick last Tuesday. The words above were in fact uttered by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington. OTR regrets the error; does the Congregation for Bishops, I wonder?
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