(Extensions of Remarks - February 16, 2000)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E155-E156]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                               speech of

                          HON. JOSEPH CROWLEY

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, February 15, 2000

  Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support for awarding the 
Congressional Gold Medal to John Cardinal O'Connor. As the leader of 
the largest Archdiocese in the nation, Cardinal O'Connor has been an 
active participant in the debate of the role of the Church and the role 
of society in helping those who cannot care for themselves. In that 
vein, the Cardinal has always embodied the Biblical passage of the Good 
Samaritan. In both his words and actions, Cardinal O'Connor has clearly 
demonstrated his devotion to the teachings of Christ and his spirit of 
the principles of this passage.
  He has not only spoken out on the care for the elderly, the sick and 
the poor of New York; he has acted.
  He has used not only his pulpit to teach the word of Christ but also 
the true meaning of those words.
  He was one of the first Church officials to recognize the horrible 
toll of the AIDS epidemic and used his moral authority to open New York 
State's first AIDS-only unit at St. Claire's Hospital. Additionally, he 
also provided compassion through words and actions and made it known 
that everyone was a child of God and was deserving of love, compassion 
and respect.
  He continued to work to strengthen the relations between those 
followers of his flock and the followers of the Jewish faith, 
recognizing the power of the inter-faith alliance.
  He is a man who has dedicated his life to helping lift others up, all 
the while never seeking out worldly possessions or public accolades. 
These are some of the reasons I support this Honor today. But there are 
others--many more personal.
  In my family, three of my relatives received the divine calling to 
dedicate themselves to the Lord's work. My uncle, Father John Crowley, 
is currently the Pastor of St. John of the Cross Church in Vero Beach, 
FL. Another uncle, Father Paul Murphy is a Catholic priest in 
Philadelphia. A member of the Vincesian order, he, like Father Crowley, 
has been inspired by Cardinal O'Connor and view him as a personal 
figure of inspiration. My aunt, Sister Mary Rose Crowley, a member of 
the Sisters of Notre Dame, is based in West Palm Beach, and she too, 
has reflected upon the power, grace and compassion of the Cardinal.
  These people, all dedicated to the teachings of Christ, have received 
both encouragement and guidance from the Cardinal. The Cardinal has 
always served as a role model of conduct and solid Christian behavior 
for my relatives and for thousands of other Catholics, not only

[[Page E156]]

New York but throughout the nation and the world.
  As the leader of the New York's Catholics, he has also been 
influential in establishing and maintaining a series of high quality, 
Catholic schools throughout the city. As a graduate of parochial 
schools, I have been brought up with the values of the Cardinal and the 
Bible, and I hope that I will be able to instill these same values of 
family and faith into my son, Cullen, who was baptized recently in the 
Catholic faith.
  I urge all of my colleagues to support the awarding of the 
Congressional Gold Medal to this great man, John Cardinal O'Connor.
  May God Bless him as he undertakes his next challenge, that of 
battling cancer.