Senator Hatfield: “prophetic and Christ-like actions”

The Poverello Medal of Franciscan University of Steubenville

The Poverello Medal of Franciscan University of Steubenville

The passing of Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon was previously noted by Mark Stricherz and Joseph Bottum here at CatholicVote in their responses to the notion that he was a liberal Republican.

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.

Emphasis mine.

Imagine that: a national day of prayer and fasting, called for by Congressional resolution. ‘Twould be a remarkable thing.

Requiescat in pace.



  • Davide

    @ Tom you work for the University of Steubenville? What a blessing. It is probably the premier Catholic University in the nation. It is orthodox to its core. I have been up there for conferences, family has been to “family land” for events and things. My older brother and I got lost up north of there in East Liverpool? Creepy old town that looked controlled by the mafia. We almost ended up in West Virginia or Pennsylvania, can’t remember which- No joke. My younger brother is considering applying to U of F for summer/fall of 2013. He might be the second priest in my family. My father’s brother is a priest in Puglia, Italy. U of S is a excellent university with a gorgeous campus. There is a sense of tranquility and peace there. Have you noticed the birds chirping in the mornings and crickets at night? Well done Tom

    • Tom Crowe

      Davide— It has indeed been a blessing. More than I can really express here. And may God continue to bless your family with vocations—the Church needs them! Does your brother know about or plan on looking into our Priestly Discernment Program? More than 60 of its graduates have entered seminary or religious orders in the past 6 years.



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