PALM DESERT, Calif. - Clarification: Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy came to the Coachella Valley to campaign for Assemblyman Manuel Perez who's running for a seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy was in the Valley this weekend campaigning for local races, but his stop at a local church caught our attention. The mass he attended, was at the very same church an other famous Kennedy use to frequent.
It was a given where to find Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy at Scared Heart Church in Palm Desert, he worshiped from the pew, his uncle, President John F. Kennedy worshiped from, during his time spent in the Valley, including an official 3-day visit in March of 1962.
"To be his nephew and to sit in the that same pew and to know that I was there, where he was is a source of great pride," said Kennedy.
Following mass, Kennedy said hello and chatted with Sacred Heart parishioners and also took time to let Father Howard Lincoln know how he agreed with the church's open door policy.
"He talked about that he felt we were a welcoming parish and that made me feel very good," said Father Lincoln. "He liked the fact that we welcomed those who were non-Catholic and that we try to be very inclusive and he appreciated that."
At ease with the people he met, Kennedy almost looked like he was in campaign mode, but at least for now, those days are behind him. After serving 16 years in Congress, he decided not to seek re-election in 2010.
These days he devotes a good chunk of his time to addiction awareness, and One Mind, an organization he founded that strives for equal treatment for people suffering from mental illness.
"You know the brain is a part of the body, it should be treated by our health care system. It shouldn't be a separate system of care, it should be integrated into overall health care," said Kennedy.
Public service, as the son of Senator Ted Kennedy, it's a part of the Former Congressman's DNA. That's why, you can't pin him down to say he's done running for office.
"I love politics, my family has loved politics and it's a joyful occupation, it's about bringing people together," said Kennedy.