I really don’t like San Francisco mayor, Gavin Newsom.  For starters he’s way too pretty and I have an innate distrust of male-model good looks.  He’s also way too politically left.  Fringy left. But talk about someone Catholic in the bones!

First, lets get the non-Catholic stuff out of the way–the affairs, the pregnant girlfriend, the pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-anything that moves stance.  (Upon reflection, much of that is standard Catholic fare, but I’ll leave that  for another post.)

What makes Gavin Newsome Catholic in the bones?  It is his, and I believe it is authentic, concern for the poor, the disenfranchised, the meek.  True, those things go over well in San Francisco and the man is a political beast, but he is more than that. 

We grew up Catholic in the same era, in roughly the same place.  We attended Santa Clara University, a Jesuit school, within a few years of each other. Before he graduated, six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter, were murdered on the campus of the University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador, El Salvador–a place that had close ties with our alma mater.  The eight were martyred because they stood against an evil regime.  In their honor, eight plain white crosses were planted in the lawn in front of Mission Santa Clara–the centerpiece building and heart of the campus.  I am certain that is a memory Newsom and I share.

A commitment to service, the willingness to stand firm against those in power in order to protect those in need, a faith so deep that it remains beyond all logic and despite disagreements with church policy–that’s Catholic in the bones.