2017 Inaugurations

You Mean There’s More than One?!

L-R: Shannon Kelly Director of Catholic Charities Community Services Hudson Valley Services; Beatriz Diaz Taveras Executive Director of Catholic Charities Community Services; Adriano Espaillat; Myself; Luz Tavarez-Salazar Director of Government and Community Relations

I, along with a few other Catholic Charities staff, went to D.C. last week for the inauguration not of the President that takes place January 20th but of the new 115th Congress on January 3rd.  The media made so little of this swearing in of 52 new members in the legislative branch of government, you almost could have ignored it.  I went because I was invited to two of these swearing in ceremonies – one for a Republican from the Hudson Valley, John Faso, and one for a Democrat from Washington Heights, Adriano Espaillat.   

I delivered one of the invocations at Congressman Espaillat’s swearing in event.  My view on invocations and political events is simple:  Engage often, endorse rarely, and pray always.  When it comes to politicians and elected officials, they and we – their constituents- can always use a prayer for God’s help.  I might add that the more problematic they are and the more we disagree with their policies, the more prayer is needed.  But that is just my opinion.  So when invited to pray I do so.  I’ve done it for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Enough about invocations.

Let me pause for a moment to discuss these two new members of Congress – very different – and yet both committed to represent their people and their concerns.  John Faso has a long history in New York State government from the Republican side of the aisle.  He is well respected for his competence as an elected official. He seems positioned to continue this record of service in D.C.  

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