Reading an excellent book on Abraham Lincoln's leadership earlier this year heightened my desire for one thing that perhaps really was present "back in the old days" -- politicians responding to a genuine call to public service. I saw it this year in friend and fellow-parishioner Jack Lynch's run for Congress (he was running against John Dingell of Detroit -- need I say more?), and Amy Welborn has tipped us off to another.
Joseph Cao is a Catholic lawyer and former Jesuit who is running the December 6th election for Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District. His story is different from most:
There is only one part of the story that makes me sad. Joseph and his brother immigrated to the United States after his father was imprisoned by the Communists after the fall of Saigon, so he will never be eligible to be President of the United States.He entered the Jesuits in 1990, spending two years in the novitiate in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. While working as a Jesuit in Mexico he had an experience that led him out of the Order and into the world of politics.“I went all over the world to work with the poor and experienced a crisis of faith in Mexico over human suffering and God. I asked my spiritual director, ‘What is God doing about all this suffering?’ He told me that ‘God sends people to help.’ That was when I began to realize my calling was politics.”