The following is the invocation offered by Bishop Kevin J. Farrell on Nov. 22 during the “The 50th: Honoring the Memory of President John F. Kennedy” ceremony at Dealey Plaza.
“Almighty and ever Faithful God
We lift up our minds and hearts to you today
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 beyond all telling 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 in this very place…
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 Kennedy,
to dream of a world that never was and say… why not.
May God bless America.”