Archbishop Alexander Sample leads an opening prayer in the Oregon House of Representatives April 2. House Speaker Tina Kotek is on the right. (Rick Keating/Catholic Sentinel)
Archbishop Alexander Sample leads an opening prayer in the Oregon House of Representatives April 2. House Speaker Tina Kotek is on the right. (Rick Keating/Catholic Sentinel)
SALEM — Rep. Jennifer Williamson, majority leader of the Oregon House of Representatives and a graduate of Valley Catholic High School, invited Archbishop Alexander Sample to lead the opening ceremony for the legislature April 2.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, the lanky archbishop in black clerical garb walked to the rostrum in the House, closed his eyes and bowed his head. Here is what he prayed:

Good and gracious God, you are the source of all goodness and of every blessing under the heavens.

As this House comes into session this morning we ask your guidance for these legislators. We ask you to pour into their hearts and into their minds wisdom, knowledge, prudence, courage, understanding, compassion.

Lord, we ask you with your Spirit to anoint their ears and their lips so that they will listen well to one another, that they will speak words of truth and of mercy.

We pray also, o God, that you heal the many divisions among us in our country and our culture today.

We ask you to help these leaders elected to public office to be shining examples of working together, of com-ing together for the service of the common good for which they were elected to serve.

Lord, we ask that you bless them in their work, guide them in their work. Help them to accomplish great things for the people of this state.

Bless also their families and all their loved ones, with your grace and with your love.

Amen.


Other archbishops have led prayer at the Oregon Legislature. Archbishop John Vlazny did so several times.