USF President Delivers Prayer at Opening of Congress

Stephen A Privett USF PRESIDENT Stephen A. Privett, S.J. called upon Congressional leaders to put aside self-interest and to pursue the common good of all people during the invocation of the opening of the 110th Congress and the swearing in of Nancy Pelosi as the speaker of the House of Representatives in January.

“We pray that the new leadership of this Congress and all of its members will write into law the story of a country that measures its success by God’s standards,” Fr. Privett said.

Pelosi had asked Fr. Privett to deliver the prayer. The two struck up a friendship after Pelosi attended Fr. Privett’s inauguration as USF president in November 2000. Pelosi was sworn in Jan. 4 as the first woman to serve as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Fr. Privett ended his prayer by encouraging lawmakers to focus their time on “those who need us the most.”

During a five-minute television interview prior to the swearing in, Fr. Privett said the mood in Washington that morning could be characterized by anticipation, excitement, and hope. When asked how Pelosi’s Catholic faith relates to her politics, he returned to the theme of his prayer, saying “both religion and politics are about bringing hope to despair.”
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