Earlier this week, former first lady of the State of Rhode Island, Suzanne “Sue” Carcieri, was laid to rest. Sue, alongside her husband, former governor Donald Carcieri, exemplified what Catholics in political life could and should be. Sue fought tirelessly for the preservation of the sanctity of human life and graciously welcomed supporters of the pro-life cause to the State House during her husband’s tenure. She and the former governor never expressed shyness about their Catholic faith or their commitment to the truth of the gospel, no matter how unpopular it might have been.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has taught that Catholics who bring their faith to the public sphere, especially through political service, do not impede the common good but enrich democracy, advance a healthy pluralism and enhance the nation itself. The religious voice can only be given a hearing in the public sphere when it is spoken with conviction, clarity and charity.
Sue Carcieri gave voice to the most vulnerable and marginalized among us: the unborn. And she was never ashamed of her Catholic faith in all its beauty and all its challenging gravity. May she be given now the reward due all those who use their authority and their public influence to advance not themselves, but what is good, true and beautiful. May God grant peace and consolation to her beloved husband Don, to her entire family; and may he grant to Sue perfect rest in his presence forever.