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Biden Attends Mass Before His Swearing In As Nation's 2nd Roman Catholic President

President-elect Joe Biden, who will become the nation's second Roman Catholic president, is attending Mass this morning, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and congressional leaders at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C.

It's a church Biden attended both as vice president and as a senator, and it was the site of a service for the first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, after his 1963 assassination.

Father Kevin O'Brien, the president of Santa Clara University, was scheduled to deliver the homily. Violinist Patricia Treacy, soprano Renée Fleming and the St. Augustine Gospel Choir were to perform.

Among those attending the service were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; soon to be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Biden has made calls for unity after the four tumultuous years of his predecessor, President Trump, that culminated in a pro-Trump mob storming the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the presidential election.

And with a narrow Democratic majority in the House and Senate, Biden will need bipartisan support if he is to accomplish many of his major initiatives.

Presidents-elect frequently attend a church service prior to their swearing in, often at St. John's Episcopal Church across Lafayette Square from the White House.

St. Matthew's Cathedral was established in 1840. It's named for the patron saint of civil servants.

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NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.
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