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Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, and more than 55 other members of Congress next week will introduce a bill proposing that the Congressional Gold Medal be awarded to Cardinal John J.O'Connor of New York.

A rarely bestowed honor, the medal is Congress' highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Only 250 individuals, including Bob Hope and Mother Teresa, have been accorded the honor in the nation's 224-year history.

Reynolds said O'Connor is being proposed for the medal for his service to the Catholic Church nationally and as head of the New York Archdiocese, and for his service to the nation as a military chaplain.

O'Connor, who served in both the Navy and Marine Corps, entered the service during the Korean War and eventually became chaplain of the U.S. Naval Academy and Navy chief of chaplains.

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