NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Jesuit Father Leo O’Donovan, former president of Georgetown University, will deliver the invocation at the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden on Wednesday January 20th.
Father O’Donovan is a longtime friend of the Biden family. He led the funeral Mass for Biden’s son Beau in 2015. Biden’s son, Hunter, graduated from Georgetown. Biden called O’Donovan personally to ask him to give the invocation.
Father O’Donovan is currently director of mission for Jesuit Refugee Service.
Leo Jeremiah O’Donovan III was born in 1934 to Margaret and Leo J. O’Donovan Jr. in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, in New York City, New York. He grew up in Manhattan and attended Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle, New York, graduating in 1952.
O’Donovan then enrolled at Georgetown University. He graduated summa cum laude and first in his class in 1956 and received a Fulbright Scholarship before entering the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1957.
When Georgetown unveiled his portrait in 2012, O’Donovan said, “Although it doesn’t say Iona ’52, without Iona I doubt I would have gone to Georgetown.”