It turns out that Franciscan University of Steubenville (for which I work) actually honored the late senator in 1974 with the Poverello Medal, our highest non-academic award. Other recipients include Rick and Karen Santorum, Jonas Salk, The Salvation Army, Dorothy Day, and an Albanian nun who made her name in India: Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. The honorees since 1949 can be seen in the University’s Fact Book.
On the local connection our press relations guy wrote:
Mark O. Hatfield, the former U.S. senator and governor of Oregon, who died Sunday, August 7, at age 89, once paid a visit to Steubenville.
The occasion was the annual Founder’s Dinner hosted by the College of Steubenville (today Franciscan University of Steubenville), which on December 7, 1974, presented Senator Hatfield with its Poverello Medal, the school’s highest non-academic award.
Senator Hatfield was nationally known for his Christian witness in the field of politics. His nomination for the Poverello Medal was based upon “prophetic and Christ-like actions in the service of our country, calling for individual and public repentance,” according to the program distributed at the event that was held in Antonian Hall on campus.
One of these actions was the sponsorship of a Congressional resolution that called for a national day of prayer and fasting in April of 1974. The resolution pointed out that the overall political and economic welfare of a nation is directly related to its spiritual condition and its relationship to Almighty God.
Another was for his work as the co-sponsor of a “Right to Life” bill.
A veteran of World War II, Hatfield was a former professor of political science at Willamette University, his alma mater, and the author of several books.
Imagine that: a national day of prayer and fasting, called for by Congressional resolution. ‘Twould be a remarkable thing.
Requiescat in pace.