As Christmas approaches, Jesuit Father Patrick Conroy, U.S. House of Representatives chaplain, said there is a sharp contrast between the charitable, peaceful and hopeful nature of the season and the often painfully partisan atmosphere in Congress.
“The political combat that is going on right now, I understand from just about everybody, is as contentious as it’s been in decades,” said Conroy.
Conroy sympathizes with the representatives. The former university chaplain said that much like the students he counseled at Seattle and Georgetown Universities, Congress often has hard tasks to accomplish in the weeks and days leading up to the holidays.
“It is, I think, a tough time for men and women of Congress who are men and women just like the rest of us who have their own hopes, fears, insecurities and brokenness and are trying to do heroic things in service to their country,” he said.
Conroy’s job as the 60th chaplain of the U.S. House of the Representative is, as he described it, to pray for the House as an institution and also for individuals.
Since he became chaplain in May, Conroy navigates the halls of the House, sitting in on floor votes, attending committee meetings (mainly those of the House Rules Committee) and working out in the congressional gym. He maintains a visible profile in the hopes that Congressional members on both sides will visit him for spiritual guidance, help and advice.
Read more about Conroy’s experiences as the U.S. House of Representatives chaplain in this article at the Christian Post.