As 1971 played out, Drinan, still in his first year as a congressman, doggedly and single-mindedly pursued the issue that had brought him to Congress—ending the Vietnam War—all the while paying due diligence to the needs of his constituents. He averaged about a dozen major speeches a year—preaching at Masses, addressing high school and university graduations, and talking in synagogues and in church halls. Letters poured in on the strife and famine in Pakistan, and above all on Vietnam. The writers reminded Drinan that they had voted for him and now urged him to make even more effort to deliver on his promises. Some asked, What more can we do? He told some to join the Common Cause, the private nonpartisan association he considered the most effective. On July 1 1971, Drinan sat down with his tape recorder and composed some “reflections” on his first six months in Congress. The resulting essay was basically a promotion of the Common Cause, but along the way he revealed something about his expectations for churches in public life.
Keywords: Father Robert Drinan, Jesuit priests, Vietnam War, Common Cause, Congress