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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 1, 2003) — Joining political and religious leaders in Washington for the National Day of Prayer, the Rev. Robert Sirico issued a call for spiritual renewal in America.

“For those of us who stand together today in our nation’s capital, in humble acknowledgement of the existence of the reality of God, Who is author of truth and existence itself, we realize that to truly understand ourselves, we must understand our origins and destiny,” Rev. Sirico said. “We further understand that it becomes incumbent upon us to live the truth we have personally encountered, and to propose — never impose — its claims to our nation, that our nation may be exalted by this transforming righteousness.”

The National Day of Prayer is an annual, nationwide observance that last year generated more than 30,000 prayer events across the United States. The Washington program was held at the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. Earlier in the day, Rev. Sirico, president and co-founder of the Acton Institute, attended a reception in the East Room of the White House where President George W. Bush thanked political and religious leaders for keeping prayer “an integral part of our national life.”

The theme for the 2003 National Prayer day was “Righteousness Exalts a Nation,” based on the text of Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

In his remarks, Rev. Sirico pointed out that the pursuit of truth has been all but abandoned at some of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in America. This abandonment, he warned, “means an end, not merely to the conversations about truth, but an end to all conversations.”

About the Acton Institute

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at