President Obama hosts White House Easter prayer breakfast

May 1, 2011

WASHINGTON (CNS) — At busy times and amid critical national debates, "nothing beats Scripture and the reminder of the eternal" for keeping things in perspective, President Barack Obama told about 130 religious leaders at the White House Easter prayer breakfast last month.

Guests at the April 19 Holy Week event included bishops, priests, ministers, women religious and leaders of other Christian denominations.

Among the Catholic clergy in attendance were Cardinal Donald Wuerl, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Doctrine; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Washington's retired archbishop; Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City; and Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, Calif.; Fr. Charles Currie, SJ, president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities; Fr. Andrew Small, OMI, newly named national director for the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States; Fr. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA; and Fr. Theodore Parker, pastor of St. Cecilia and St. Leo parishes in Detroit.

Guests included Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, CHA's president and chief executive officer; Sr. Roberta Fulton, SSMN, president of the National Black Sisters Conference; and Sr. Kateri Mitchell, SSA, executive director of the Tekakwitha Conference.

President Barack Obama and guests at the White House Easter prayer breakfast bow in prayer. Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, CHA's president and chief executive officer, is seated at the president's table and shown here with her back to the camera.


Obama quoted from Isaiah: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed."

Obama said the grace of Christ "calls me to pray. It calls me to ask God for forgiveness for the times that I've not shown grace to others, those times that I've fallen short. It calls me to praise God for the gift of … his Son and our savior."


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