WelCom February 2021
Jesuit priest Fr Leo O’Donovan SJ, delivered the invocation at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, USA’s second Catholic president, on 20 January.
Fr O’Donovan is a former professor at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge Mass, and at Georgetown University in Washington DC.
In his prayer before the oath of office was administered to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Fr O’Donovan said, ‘Today, we confess our past failures to live according to our vision of equality, inclusion, and freedom for all. Yet we resolutely commit still more now to renewing the vision, to caring for one another in word and deed, especially the least fortunate among us, and so becoming a light for the world.’
He cited Pope Francis and closed with these words, ‘Be with us, Holy Mystery of Love, as we dream together. Help us under our new President to reconcile the people of our land, restore our dream, and invest it with peace and justice and the joy that is the overflow of love.’
Biden had personally called Fr O’Donovan and invited him to offer the prayer at the inauguration. Fr O’Donovan is a long-time friend of the Biden family. In 2015, he presided at the funeral Mass for Biden’s eldest son, Beau, after he died of brain cancer at the age of 46.
Fr O’Donovan is currently the director of mission for Jesuit Refugee Service, USA.