Congressional spouses traditionally get together every February to meet one another, break bread together and share in each other’s faiths.
“I think these events show people that the spouses are real people and that we really care about each other,” Caroline Aderholt, whose husband Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., is a longtime co-host of these events, told HOH. “Prayer is important to us and we believe in it, and it makes a difference in our personal lives, in our family’s lives and we think it can make a difference in our world.”
People from all different faiths attend these events. “That’s one of the more exciting things about it,” she said.
The main event of the week is Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, hosted by Reps. Aderholt and Juan Vargas, D-Calif. This breakfast has been happening on the Hill since 1952 and lawmakers are able to bring two guests each. This year’s breakfast will feature Alabama football star and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, who will deliver the closing prayer.
Following the breakfast, the International Women’s Tea, hosted by congressional spouses, will be attended by 130 women. These women range from politicians, politicians’ relatives and businesswoman, from over 100 different countries.
At the Library of Congress, the women at the tea share their stories with one another, pray together and break up into groups by regions in the world to meet each other. “Spouses will visit with them and pray with them, for peace and reconciliation for us and for them,” Aderholt said.
On Wednesday afternoon, Meeting of Women from the 50 States took place, which is co-chaired by Aderholt and April Delaney, the wife of Rep. John Delaney, D-Md. At the Washington Hilton, the congressional spouses host an event for about 30 spouses. All guests introduce themselves and the speaker this year is Tori Nunnelee, the wife of the late former Rep. Patrick Alan Nunnelee of Mississippi.
“It’s our community that the spouses develop when they’re in Washington and how we become so dependent on each other and how we become like family, regardless of what party we’re in,” she said. “This lifestyle that some spouses are thrown into willingly, and some unwillingly, and the other spouses really became very helpful in transition and learning how to deal with it.”
“On the outside we look so different, but when we come together and we can develop these relationships on a very personal level, we all learn,” she said.
See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.