N.J. Nun To Deliver House Prayer
Sep. 11, 2000
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sister Catherine Moran of New Jersey will become the first Roman Catholic nun to serve as guest chaplain of the House on Tuesday, when she delivers the opening prayer.
Her visit comes six months after House Speaker Dennis Hastert resolved a bitter dispute by appointing a Roman Catholic as House chaplain for the first time.
Sister Catherine works at the New Community Corporation in Newark, N.J., and has been a member of the Dominican Sisters for 55 years. She has worked as a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools in the Archdiocese of Newark and was formerly the principal of elementary and high schools in New York.
The office of the House Chaplain said Sister Catherine will be the first non-ordained woman to offer an opening prayer.
In March, Hastert appointed the Rev. Daniel P. Coughlin as the first Roman Catholic to hold the position of House chaplain, ministering to lawmakers and their families.
The choice followed four months of controversy that began when some Democrats accused GOP leaders of anti-Catholic bigotry for appearing to pass over a widely supported priest in favor of a Protestant for the chaplain post.
Guest chaplains, nominated by members of Congress, offer opening prayers two to three times each week when Congress is in session.
Rep. Donald Payne, D-N.J., nominated Moran and will introduce her on Tuesday.