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News 11.20.2013

Anniversary of the Death of John F. Kennedy Memorial Celebration - Invocation Prayer of Bishop Kevin Farrell

Bishop Kevin Farrell offered the invocation at "The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy" at Dealy plaza on Friday, November 22. Read the words of his inspiring prayer, as well as learn more about Bishop Farrell's reflections on President John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic U.S. president.

Almighty and ever Faithful God
Today we lift up our minds and hearts to you
because you Lord have lifted us up
from the horrible tragedy enacted in this place
from the cruel suffering that was borne on this hill
from the shock and horror that gripped our nation
and from the years when we as citizens of this city suffered
and were implicated by the gun shot by one man
that killed a President in whom many of us had set our hopes and dreams for a better America.

It was your abiding inspiration and active presence among us Lord
that moved us ever forward despite the temptation only to lament and to be paralyzed in our grief.

You turned our sorrow into a firm commitment to move forward
You turned our grief into a resolve to refashion our city
to a place where life flourishes and true love abounds.

You turned our devastation to a commitment to rebuild here the city of God;
a city where all are welcomed, nurtured and cared for.

We rejoice with gratitude in all that you have caused to happen here in a place which was disgraced,
scorned and ruthlessly judged, by ourselves and by others.

May you, Heavenly Father, continue to sustain us as we celebrate
that the Phoenix has risen from the ashes of violence
that hatred can be turned to harmony
that ignorance can cede to understanding
that prejudice can lead to openness.

Make us instruments of your peace and bearers of divine justice
that always tempers instinct with mercy
that changes what appears to be defeat to the reality fed by providence that all will be well.

Lord, may you always walk with us
May you inspire us, as you once inspired President John Fitzgerald Kennedy,

To dream of a world that never was and say… why not.

May God bless the United States of America.


En Espanol

Aniversario de la Muerte del Presidente John F. Kennedy
Celebración Memorial, Dallas, Texas
Excelentísimo Kevin J. Farrell, D.D.
Obispo de la Diócesis Católica Romana de Dallas

Dios Todopoderoso y siempre Fiel
hoy elevamos nuestras mentes y nuestros corazones hacia ti
porque tú, Señor, nos ha levantado
de la horrible tragedia ocurrida en este lugar,
del más cruel sufrimiento producido sobre esta colina,
del asombro y el terror que se apoderó de nuestra nación,
de los años en los que nosotros, como ciudadanos de esta ciudad,
sufrimos y nos vimos implicados en el disparo de un hombre
que le quitó la vida a un Presidente en quien tantos de nosotros
habíamos puesto nuestros sueños y esperanzas de una América mejor.

Fue tu permanente inspiración y tú activa presencia entre nosotros, Señor,
lo que nos motivó a salir adelante a pesar de la tentación
de permanecer lamentándonos y paralizarnos ante nuestro dolor.

Convertiste nuestro dolor en un firme compromiso de seguir adelante,
convertiste nuestra angustia en una resolución de transformar nuestra
ciudad en un lugar donde la vida florece y el amor verdadero abunda.

Convertiste nuestra devastación en el compromiso
de reconstruir aquí la ciudad de Dios;
una ciudad donde todos son bienvenidos, apoyados y cuidados.

Llenos de gratitud, hoy nos regocijamos por todo lo que has ocasionado
en un lugar que fue deshonrado, despreciado y cruelmente juzgado,
tanto por nosotros mismos, como por otros.

Que tú, Padre Celestial, continúes sustentándonos mientras celebramos
que el Ave Fénix se ha levantado de las cenizas de la violencia,
que el odio pudo ser transformada en armonía,
que la ignorancia pudo dar paso a la comprensión
y que el prejuicio pudo llevar a la apertura.

Haznos instrumentos de tu paz y portadores de tu justicia divina
que siempre templa el instinto con piedad,
que cambia lo que parece derrotado en una realidad
alimentada con la confianza que todo estará bien.

Señor, que siempre camines a nuestro lado,
que siempre nos inspires, como inspiraste al Presidente John F. Kennedy,
a soñar con un mundo que nunca existió y decir... ¿por qué no?

¡Que Dios bendiga a los Estados Unidos de América!


More about Bishop Kevin Farrell and the JFK 50th Commemoration

The article below is the first of three parts of a Texas Catholic series featuring Bishop Farrell's reflections on President John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic U.S. president, and what his election meant to Ireland, the bishop’s homeland, and to the world.

Q: How did your parents and their generation perceive President Kennedy and the world context during his administration?

A: It wasn’t only the young people who were enthused about having this young man as a president. He was a young man who had fought in the Second World War. We went through the Korean War.

In Ireland, there was a lot of unrest.

President Kennedy always appeared like a person who gave us life and new hope, not just the younger generation, but also my parents. My father thought this was just wonderful. He was a nationalist; everything that was Ireland and Irish was the best in the world, of course!

But my mother was a very devout, religious kind of person. On the wall of every kitchen in Ireland, you had the picture of the Sacred Heart. In the kitchen in our house, on one side of the old, traditional Sacred Heart picture with this little, old electrical lamp burning in front of it, was a picture of Pope John XXIII and on the other side was John Kennedy.

That, to me, always summed up the love that the Irish people had for him.

Here was my mother, who just was a very simple person who didn’t  understand too much about world politics, but they had this great admiration and this great sense of hope that, for once, the world was going to be better and going to be different.

Those three images, including John Kennedy’s wrinkled-up old photograph, were still there when my mother died 30 years later.

That just explains the love that people had for Kennedy.

It was such a tremendous shock to us when he died.


Read the rest of the interview with Bishop Farrell, along with multiple articles and interviews honoring the life, leadership and legacy of President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his death, in the November 22nd edition of the Texas Catholic and on

Media Coverage of Bishop Farrell and the JFK Commemoration

From - Dallas Bishop Farrell took to heart JFK’s call to change world


Bishop Kevin Farrell at 16Kevin Farrell was a 16-year-old swooning in the streets of Dublin when John F. Kennedy came to Ireland in June 1963. The president charmed the Emerald Isle nation, quoting its most famous playwright, praising its emigrants and visiting the home of his great-grandfather.

Farrell was ready to join Kennedy’s new Peace Corps to “change the world.” But it was open only to U.S. citizens, and the young Irishman focused on the Catholic priesthood instead.

Fifty years later, as bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Farrell will give the invocation Friday at the city’s commemoration of JFK’s life and death.

[Read more]

 From "Scoop Blog" - Irish experience of Bishop Farrell shapes his JFK prayer

From - VIDEO: 50 Novembers: Bishop readies for JFK invocation

From CBS 11: VIDEO: Bishop Shares His Connection With JFK