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Diocese News September 8, 2016

Mass of Thanksgiving to Say Farewell to Bishop Kevin J. Farrell

The Diocese of Dallas will say farewell and thank you to Bishop Kevin J. Farrell at a Mass of Thanksgiving for his near-decade of ministry and service on Saturday, September 10 at 5:00 p.m. at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe located at 2215 Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas.

The Diocese of Dallas will say farewell and thank you to Bishop Kevin J. Farrell at a Mass of Thanksgiving for his near-decade of ministry and service on Saturday, September 10 at 5:00 p.m. at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe located at 2215 Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas.

Bishop Farrell was appointed the seventh bishop of Dallas by Pope Benedict on March 6, 2007 and installed at a special Mass on May 1, 2007 at the Cathedral.

During his tenure, Bishop Farrell greatly improved the relationship between the diocese and Catholics in the pews, as well as with the community at large.   He helped expand, improve and update the Catholic churches and schools in the Diocese of Dallas to accommodate the tremendous growth in the area.

On August 17th, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Farrell as the prefect of the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life at the Vatican.  The bishop will depart from Dallas to assume his new role in early October.


Highlights during Bishop Kevin J. Farrell’s tenure as bishop of the Diocese of Dallas


March 6 – Appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Dallas by Pope Benedict XVI.

May 1 – Installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Dallas at Cathedral Shrine of the
Virgin of Guadalupe. Catholic population in nine-county area stands at approximately 940,000. June 9 – Ordains his first diocesan priest, Father Jason Cargo.

June 9 – Ordains his first diocesan priest, Father Jason Cargo.

Aug. 21 – Visits St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Oak Cliff after it was struck by lightning and burns
and pledges to work to build a new sanctuary for community.

Sept. 15 – Hires director of communications to focus on improving internal and external communications and bridging relationships with media and communities.

November – Hires first full-time Safe Environment Director charged with compliance of criminal background safety checks, for employees and volunteers working in all parishes, schools and offices.

November – Appoints Vicar for Clergy to oversee all aspects of clergy life and assist in improving the relationship with the priests of the diocese.


Jan. 22 – Celebrates Mass and leads 5,000 people in march and rally and implores pro-life advocates  to  not  lose  faith  in  attempts  to  overturn  Roe  v.  Wade  decision  that  legalized abortion.

Aug.  24  –  In  an  effort to  promote  vocations to  the priesthood, organizes semi-annual St. Andrew Dinners to inform young men about being open to the call for vocations to the priesthood.

October – Appoints 16 lay men and women from parishes throughout the diocese to a newly formed Pastoral Council to help him address key issues important to the diocese.


March 23 – Leads groundbreaking for Notre Dame Courts, a 69-unit facility in Oak Cliff for low- income people as part of Catholic Housing Initiative.

Oct. 23 – Relaunches and co-sponsors an expanded University of Dallas Ministry Conference at the Dallas Convention Center to ensure convenient ongoing training for all lay and clergy involved in ministry.

October – Reads decree following Mass of dedication in Kerens, Texas, of the first Vietnamese
Benedictine monastery in the United States.


January 2010 – Launches blog to reach more Catholics via social media.

April 10 – Ordains two auxiliary bishops to help minister to the growing number of Catholics in the Diocese of Dallas.


February  – Appoints a select strategic task force comprised of lay men and women, that included educators, parents, philanthropists and professionals, to map out the future of Catholic Schools in the diocese, resulting in the publishing of the “Our Students, Our Future: A Roadmap for Excellence.”

Sept. 3 – Joins St. Francis of Assisi Catholic community in Frisco in the groundbreaking for a new and much larger sanctuary to better accommodate the ever-growing number of Catholics in northern Collin County.

Sept. 12 – Tees off inaugural Bishop Farrell Invitational golf tournament to raise funds for tuition assistance for students in Catholic schools. To date, this golf tournament has raised $2.7 million for tuition assistance for students in diocesan schools.

Nov. 20 – Thanks members of St. Cecilia Catholic Church community for efforts and support during a
dedication Mass for the church’s new sanctuary.


Feb. 11 – Initiates Bishop’s Award for Service with Mass at cathedral, honoring lay volunteers for their commitment and service to the local Catholic Church.

March 14 – Leads Diocese of Dallas bishops in Ad Limina visit to the Vatican and meeting with
Pope Benedict XVI.

Sept. 4 – Employed first-ever Chief Operating Officer to oversee all business aspects in the diocese.

Oct. 6-7 – Leads Dallas area Knights of Columbus members in delivering wheelchairs to people in rural areas of Honduras. Concelebrates several Masses in Trujillo, Dallas Diocese’s sister city.


March 23 – Joins Mayor Mike Rawlings and thousands of men in City Hall Plaza for “Men Against Abuse”
rally, calling an end to domestic violence.

April 16 – Convenes first Marian Dinner to highlight the importance of religious women to the church and inspire vocations for future generations.

April 17 – Celebrates with Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings the implementation of $6 million renovation of
Bishop Dunne Catholic with announcement at the Oak Cliff school.

May 5 – Leads march and speaks at rally at City Hall Plaza promoting immigration reform.

Sept. 4 – Presides at all-school Mass kicking off Bishop Lynch High School’s 50th anniversary.

Oct. 7 – Delivers a Red Mass homily at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., where the congregation traditionally prays for the U.S. Supreme Court and government officials (with several Supreme Court judges and officials in attendance) amid the federal government shutdown. In his homily, Bishop Farrell stressed that debate requires respect for the other side in every argument, no matter what the disagreement.


June  14  —Santa  Clara  Regional  Community  Center,  a  program  of  Catholic  Charities  of  Dallas  that features a summer children’s camp, opens in West Dallas.
July 2014 – Urges Gov. Rick Perry to view immigrant children who have crossed into the U.S. from Central America as refugees in response to the governor’s announcement of a plan to send 1,000 members of the Texas National Guard to the border.

Sept. 30 – Presides over kickoff celebration of diocese’s 125th  anniversary and launch of $125 million capital campaign, “Our Faith…Our Future”, to raise $125 million for parishes, Catholic schools, Catholic Charities, Holy Trinity Seminary, and the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Oct. 17 – Announces his invitation of Cristo Rey High School to operate in the Diocese of Dallas with its nationally acclaimed college prep/work-study curriculum in school’s partnership with area businesses.

Oct. 20 – Reveals that four people exposed to Ebola virus were quarantined in Catholic facility for nearly a month, saying, “We help people because we are Catholic, not because they are Catholic.”


Fall – Formally opens St. Philip & St. Augustine Academy that combined two schools into a renovated campus in Pleasant Grove.


Jan. 2 – Prays with parishioners and community members who lost their homes in tornadic storms in the Garland and Rowlett areas in late December and calls for a special collection in all parishes.  The $1.9 million collected was given to Catholic Charities and St. Vincent de Paul Society to provide aid to storm victims.

January— The Diocese of Dallas and the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) formalize a strategic partnership with the goal of strengthening Catholic schools.

January – Pledges and funds to “Our Faith … Our Future” campaign top $130 million. Spring – Catholic population in Dallas Diocese tops 1.3 million.

May 21 – Ordains four diocesan priests, bringing to 34 the number of diocesan priests (24) and
Cistercian priests (10) ordained during his tenure.

June – Renovation and construction of parishes and school buildings and other Catholic-owned facilities tops $184 million from 2007 with another $73 million ongoing.

July 8 – Joins civic and faith leaders in prayer for peace and healing in downtown Dallas after five Dallas police officers are killed during protest.

Aug. 17 – Appointed by Pope Francis as the new prefect for the Dicastery for Laity, Family and
Life at the Vatican.

Source: The Texas Catholic/Diocese of Dallas