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Mitt Romney takes a break to attend church, press in tow

August 19, 2012|By Michael Finnegan
  • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney before a fundraising event in Nantucket, Mass.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney before a fundraising event… (Evan Vucci / Associated…)

Mitt Romney, who rarely spotlights his Mormon faith, took reporters along to a church service Sunday morning near his family’s lakefront vacation home in Wolfeboro, N.H.

No news cameras were allowed inside, but a small pool of journalists was invited to attend and report their observations, offering a window into a private, but important facet of Romney’s life.

Accompanied by his wife, Ann, and eight other family members, the Republican presidential candidate was greeted outside by an elderly couple. “Welcome back,” the woman told Romney as she hugged him.

“Thank you,” he responded with a smile.

The Romneys took seats toward the back of the chapel as a member of the bishopric was making announcements, according to an account by Buzzfeed reporter McKay Coppins.

Romney, dressed in a blue suit, joined nearly 100 other congregants in singing hymns. Young men in white shirts and ties passed out the sacrament, small pieces of white bread and cups of water that symbolize the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ. Each of the Romneys took the sacrament.

Ann Romney took turns holding different grandchildren on her lap. Her husband flipped through a picture book with one of them. One of the couple’s sons, Tagg Romney, retreated to the back of the chapel to bounce a sleeping newborn.

A woman who is a member of the Marriott hotel family performed a song and told the congregants about her recent mission in Oakland, Calif., and Saint George, Utah.

Romney, whose family life is likely to play a prominent role next week in the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., was taking a break Sunday from a national fundraising tour. On Monday, he plans to join his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, at a town-hall-style meeting with voters in Manchester, N.H.

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