Catholics in America , from California to Pennsylvania , black, white and latino, voted for change. Millions of Catholics were not happy with the direction of our country the past several years. Frustration over the economy and the war in Iraq received most of the public attention, but the decline in our country’s moral values was just as an important concern to countless millions of Catholics. Republicans in Washington squandered their opportunity the past 8 years to govern this nation. Catholics in key states like Pennsylvania , Ohio , Michigan , New Mexico and Florida voted to give Barak Obama a chance to unite and lead our country.

The U.S. presidential election certainly inspired millions of people. Blacks and Latinos, many of whom are devout Catholics, who never felt part of the political system, voted in record numbers for Barak Obama. President-Elect Obama’s first job will be to reach out to people of all ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds.

I hope and pray that the Obama Administration will also listen to faithful Catholics who love our country, as he promised to do in his acceptance speech.

Political unity in Washington D.C. between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, is not as important to Catholics in America as inclusion and respect for the value of life, family and justice.

Yes, Catholics are optimistic because we are patriotic Americans and people of hope and faith. We look forward to a new day for America .

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