Inauguration Day

Santa Clara University President Holds Pre-Inaugural Mass for Biden in DC

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Vice President and Oakland native Kamala Harris wasn't the only person at Wednesday's presidential inauguration representing the Bay Area.

Santa Clara University President Kevin O'Brien held a Roman Catholic Mass for President Joe Biden and Harris to celebrate the inauguration of the 46th president.

Biden is now the country's second Catholic president, and his mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., took place 60 years after John F. Kennedy attended his pre-inaugural Catholic mass before his swearing-in ceremony.

The Mercury News via Getty Images
Rev. Kevin O'Brien smiles after he was introduced as Santa Clara University's president at an event inside the Locatelli Student Activity Center on the campus of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. (Photo by Randy Vazquez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images)

More than 100 family members and invited Democratic and Republican leaders attended the mass.

O'Brien, who met the Biden family 15 years ago while serving at Georgetown University, has given mass before for Biden. The Jesuit priest also presided over Biden and his family in 2009 and 2013 when he was sworn in as vice president.

Pre-inaugural religious services are a long-time tradition for American presidents before their swearing-in ceremonies. Presidents like Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have all had their own as well.

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