Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Bishop Kevin J. Farrell’s remarks at an interfaith prayer vigil at Thanks-Giving Square on July 8.
“Let us bow our heads and pray for our first responders — the men and women who give their lives protecting and defending each one of us.
We know that both love and charity abound in this world. And even in times of violence, God does not turn away from us. We lament the senseless loss of life since last night and we stand in solidarity with all those who continue to suffer the effects of this tragedy in the city of Dallas—especially the men and women of our police department. In the words of the psalmist, ‘Lord our God, we call out to you by day, at night we cry aloud in your presence. Let our prayer come before you, incline your ear to our cry for from our souls is filled with trouble. All day long we cry to you, Lord, and on this day we stretch out our hands to you.’
Together this day with the knowledge of the tragedy that our city, and especially the law enforcement community, has experienced, let us place our trust in God and ask for a renewal of God’s love and generous protection. May the leaders of this city know of our support and confidence. And may those who protect us, let us know that we support them each and every day. Fronted by the goodness that is in each one of us, we pray, as the old St. Francis’ prayer teaches us, that each person in our community will become an instrument of peace. May we walk away today bringing love where there is hatred, hope where there is darkness, and joy where there is great sadness.
May Almighty God, hear the prayer of this community on this day and may he stretch out his hands to touch the men and women who give their lives for each one of us. It reminds us of the words of Scripture: ‘There is no greater love than one who gives his life for the protection of others.’ Our police officers deserve our support and prayer. May God reach out to them in their pain and in their suffering on this day.”