The Curator of Papal Artifacts wears many hats, one of which is his interest in all things political. Having majored in political science as an undergraduate he was fortunate to work for a senator (Senator Rod Grams of Minnesota) before captured by Our Lord for the work of his life as a priest.
So, how wonderful for him he was given the opportunity to offer this prayer in the House of Representatives in May 2019.
We share his joy for this opportunity for him.
We share our joy that God called him to ordination.
And he accepted!
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Rev. Richard B. Kunst
St. James Catholic Church
Heavenly Father, we pray blessings upon the proceedings of this Chamber this day. May the Members of Congress and all government officials see their authority to govern as a sharing of Your authority, O Heavenly Lord.
And to this end, may the deliberations of today and always support the right of every citizen of the United States to have life, liberty, and the pursuant of happiness. And may our Nation’s motto, “In God We Trust,” be more than simple words on our currency but, rather, the true spirit in which our great Nation is governed.
We ask that You continue to be present to this great Nation and to answer our prayers by Your great love.
Here is a link to Father Richard Kunst’s prayer as a guest chaplain in the house of representatives in Washington, D. C.
Here is a link to the Catholic News Agency article about Bishop Barron’s Visit.
Bishop Barron’s Prayer as Guest Chaplain
October 30, 2019
Barron delivered the opening prayer on the U.S. House Floor on Wednesday, to start the legislative business for the day. In his invocation, he echoed themes of justice that he had spoken about the previous day (figured in the link provided above).
“O God, Source of all justice, You have summoned everyone who works in this chamber to walk the path of righteousness, to foster life and liberty, to care especially for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society,” Bishop Barron said.
“Free these servants of yours O Lord, of all those attachments to wealth or power or privilege or fame that would prevent them from following the course You have set out for them. Make them mindful of the time when they first heard your voice and followed it with idealism and enthusiasm,” he prayed.
From the Northern Cross, the Duluth Diocesan Paper, June 2019:
Father Richard Kunst, pastor of St. James and St Elizabeth in Duluth, had an unusual flock far from home May 9—the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as guest chaplain.
The honor came through U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn. who introduced him on the floor of Congress as “a great friend” and cited Father Kunst’s parish assignments and other service in the diocese, as well as his previous work in politics, which included a bachelor’s degree in political science and work as a Senate staffer for the late U. S. Senator Rod Grams.
“The experience was great,” Father Kunst said in an interview with the Northern Cross. “Not too many people get to be on the floor of the U.S. House, and then to lead the prayer from the exact spot where presidents deliver the State of the Union was what really made me feel the historic import of the place.”
He noted that he has been friends with Stauber and his wife for years, and that the nomination came, “because he knew I have an interest in politics and history. I’m very grateful to him for such an honor.”
Father Kunst also delivered the opening prayer for President Trump’s rally in Duluth last summer.
“Politics can be a delicate balance for a priest.” Father Kunst said. He said he is open about his conservative principles and values and does speak to issues as a priest but also never promotes “any candidate in any public setting.”