[Congressional Record Volume 143, Number 74 (Tuesday, June 3, 1997)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1075-E1076]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. JOSE E. SERRANO

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, June 3, 1997

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Bishop Francisco 
Garmendia, who will be honored on June 7 for his 50 years of service to 
the Catholic Church and for the spiritual leadership he continues to 
provide the Hispanic community in my congressional district, the South 
  As the first Hispanic bishop in the Archdiocese of New York, Bishop 
Garmendia is truly an example of excellence in leadership. But ask any 
one of his parishioners and he will certainly tell you that our own 
``good shepherd'' not only leads his flock but sacrifices and cares for 
it as well.
  Born in Lazcano, Spain, Bishop Garmendia was truly raised in the 
faith. After attending a private school run by the Benedictine Fathers 
there, Bishop Garmendia entered the seminary in 1935 and, in 1947, was 
ordained a priest. Almost as soon as he finished saying his first mass 
his journey of service began, one that would take him across the globe 
to touch the lives of many. After studying in England he was 
transferred to Salta, Argentina, where he taught English and chemistry 
in the Colegio Belgrano of Salta. When not teaching, Bishop Garmendia 
would give up his weekends to minister to the native community.
  Bishop Garmendia's understanding of people and his experience with 
diversity cleared the way for his mission in New York. Since his 
transfer in 1964, Bishop Garmendia has earned not only the trust and 
respect of the Church--he was consecrated bishop by Cardinal Cooke in 
1977--but also the love and support of the Hispanic community. Over the 
years, Bishop Garmendia has worked tirelessly to spread God's Word not 
just from the pulpit but on radio and television as well.
  We also recognize Bishop Garmendia for his tremendous social work and 
his struggles to provide services for those in need. Among his many 
accomplishments, Bishop Garmendia instituted the Spanish Orientation 
Center and sponsored the establishment of The Resource Center for 
Community Development, Inc., better known as The Hope Line, a free 
service which provides thousands of immigrants with legal, material, 
and spiritual assistance. Although he has been threatened by

[[Page E1076]]

drug dealers and even physically attacked, Bishop Garmendia has not 
wavered in his commitment to serve his God and his community.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Bishop 
Francisco Garmendia for his selfless devotion to the Church and the 
Hispanic community of New York. In a time when service often goes 
unappreciated, we should recognize great servants like Bishop Garmendia 
and encourage them to continue in their courageous efforts.