News Release: Former Michigan Congressman Dale Kildee Remembered As ‘A Man of Deep Faith, a Dedicated Advocate for Education’

An angel carved from white stone gazes downward, wings spread

October 14, 2021

(Lansing, Mich.) — Upon learning of the death of longtime U.S. Congressman Dale Kildee, 92, Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul A. Long offered the following reflection:

“Through his time in Congress and in his personal life Congressman Kildee remained true to his own beliefs. A dedicated advocate for education, Mr. Kildee consistently sought to ensure that all school children, particularly those enrolled in non-public schools, were treated equitably in federal policy. As an advocate for the unborn and promoter of human life and dignity, Mr. Kildee did not run from his principles while serving in Lansing or Washington, D.C. — despite immense pressure at times to do so.

“Congressman Kildee holds a special place in the memory of Michigan Catholic Conference for his character, honesty and integrity, personal conviction, and dedication to his Catholic faith. In 1988, at an event in downtown Lansing marking the 25th Anniversary of this organization, several hundred attendees received a copy of Action on Behalf of Justice, a series of monographs that included a beautiful reflection from Congressman Kildee titled “Government As A Force For Good.” His words are as remarkable today as they were on that celebratory evening:

Christ said the poor will always be among us. We should accept this as a challenge, not an excuse. We, individually, may not be able to feed every hungry mouth or soothe every troubled spirit. We cannot remove pain from this world. But our help and comfort, whether we offer it to one person or to the entire country, make a tangible difference in people’s lives. As Catholics, we have much to offer our country and our world.

“May the noble soul of Congressman Dale Kildee rest in peace, and may his legacy of kindness and personal conviction provide an inspiration for those who currently hold public office and those to come – both in Lansing and in our great nation’s Capital.”

A member of the Democratic party, Dale Kildee represented the people of the Flint, Bay City, and Saginaw areas in the United States Congress for over 36 years. Prior to his time in Congress Mr. Kildee served in both chambers of the Michigan Legislature, from 1965–1974 in the House of Representatives and from 1975–1976 in the Michigan Senate.

Editor’s Note: A scanned version of Congressman Kildee’s 1988 monograph, Government As A Force For Good, is attached to this news statement.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

-- 30 --