By Bishop Kevin J. Farrell
Publisher of The Texas Catholic
Sharing with you what I consider the core message of Pope Francis’ many talks and homilies during his visit to our nation has been very important, but I want to return briefly to the event that occurred at Klyde Warren Park on Sunday, Sept. 27, when more than 3,500 people assembled here in Dallas to share in the celebration of the Holy Father’s closing Mass on Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia.
Although I was privileged to be present for part of the Pope’s visit, my early return enabled me to be part of our wonderful Dallas celebration. What made the afternoon so special is that it was our own celebration of faith. It had all the elements of a family picnic, children playing, families spread out on quilts and chairs and even a couple of tents. Brightly colored umbrellas and happy music prior to the Mass gave it a very festive air.
Yet, once the papal Mass began on the giant screen, a respectful hush fell over the crowd with many people responding to Mass prayers and kneeling at the consecration. The sound was excellent and the colors on the screen were crisp and bright. I particularly noticed that when Mass and the closing ceremonies ended there was no mad rush to leave. People seemed to want to linger and savor the moment.
We are indeed grateful to Father Rudy Garcia, rector of the Cathedral which sponsored the event, The Catholic Foundation, Mr. Raul Estrada and all those whose efforts and generosity made it happen. I am sure many others will join me in cherishing the memory of that September afternoon in the park with Pope Francis.