WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) released the following statement today on the passing of Father Robert Drinan:
"On the wall above the Speaker's Rostrum in the United States House of Representatives, the motto "In God We Trust" is displayed for all to see. These words recall the moral foundation upon which our country was built and the basis of an enduring American commitment to freedom, democracy and the inalienable rights of man.
"Today, as our nation mourns the loss of Father Robert Drinan, the first Roman Catholic priest to serve as a voting member of the United States Congress, I believe that our creed has taken on special significance; because if anyone ever lived with "In God We Trust" in his heart, it was my friend and colleague, Father Drinan.
"Father Drinan's abiding faith compelled him to live a life of service. He served his community as a man who always treated his neighbors with care and compassion; he served his fellow citizens as a champion of social justice and equality here in America; and he served all of humankind as an outspoken advocate for human rights and dignity throughout the world.
"As a priest, he offered comfort and guidance to those seeking direction; as a professor, he helped shape the hearts and minds of the thousands of students he taught; and as a Congressman, he set a lasting example that current Members should strive to emulate every time they see those hallowed words etched above the Speaker's chair. The thoughts and prayers of an appreciative nation are with those whose lives were touched by Father Robert Drinan."