Jesuit Father Patrick Conroy was sworn in recently as the U.S. House chaplain, making him the first Jesuit to hold the position and only the second Catholic in House history.
“It’s clear this loyal servant of the faithful is uniquely suited to serve as chaplain of the people’s House,” Speaker John Boehner said, noting that the chaplain “is the anchor of the House.”
The duties are both ceremonial and practical, including opening each session with a prayer, presiding over memorials and other ceremonies and providing pastoral counseling.
“One does not aspire to become the chaplain to a chamber of Congress,” said Fr. Conroy. “This opportunity to serve is an extraordinary gift, and I hope to be worthy of the trust the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader are extending to me. I am also humbled by the confidence my Jesuit superiors are demonstrating in making me available to answer this call to serve the People’s House.”
“Leader Pelosi and I have gotten a chance to know Father Pat, and we’re honored that he has accepted our invitation to serve as chaplain,” Boehner said.