The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Cardinal Mahony’s moment

The Democrats open their national convention in Denver tonight. This is a good opportunity to look back at another Democratic convention, where a Catholic archbishop appeared before the delegates, and prayed.

Thanks to Curt Jester, I was able to dig up the following, from Cardinal Roger Mahony’s invocation at the opening of the Democratic National Convention in 2000.


Then, as now, a pro-abortion candidate was about to receive his party’s nomination.

This is what the Cardinal had to say:

I welcome you to the “City of Angels” with all its vibrant religious, ethnic, and racial diversity. I come to this great convening out of respect for our nation’s democratic traditions. I come as a pastor, not a politician; an advocate of values, not candidates.

Prayer must be about moral values, not partisan politics. It should express faith, not ideology. So as we begin our prayer this evening let us be mindful that we are always in the presence of God:



Let us Pray:

God of life and love,

God of compassion and mercy,

God of reconciliation and forgiveness,

God of justice and peace.

As you gathered your people into the land that was promised to them, you called them to heed your voice and follow your commandments. These commandments are at once simple and profound: To love God above all else and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We have been called to “choose life” and to “serve the least of these.”

Tonight we are gathered here profoundly aware of our need for God’s wisdom and grace to embody these commandments in our laws and policies so that “justice will flow like a mighty river and uprightness like a never-failing stream” (Amos 5.24). Strengthen our will to build a nation that measures progress by how the weak and vulnerable are faring.


In the span of just three weeks, our nation’s major political parties will have gathered at their conventions to select their candidates for the upcoming presidential campaign. We pray tonight that your Spirit will inspire all candidates, regardless of party, to embody in their words, actions, and policies values that protect all human life, establish peace, promote justice, and uphold the common good. For it is in you, O God, that we trust.

In You, O God, we trust…that you will keep us ever committed to protect the life and well-being of all people but especially unborn children, the sick and the elderly, those on skid row and those on death row.

In You, O God, we trust…that you will instill in us the resolve to not rest until every family has enough food to eat, the clothing to keep them warm, adequate shelter to protect them from the elements, and a decent education for their children.


In You, O God, we trust…that you will give us the resolve to create those conditions in society where working people earn wages that can sustain themselves and their family members in dignity, and that they have access to adequate healthcare, childcare, and education.

In You, O God, we trust…that you will plant deep in our hearts the truth that our neighbor is anyone near or far who needs our assistance and support regardless of whether they suffer from AIDS or debt in Africa, religious persecution in China or Sudan, or from hunger and poverty in developing countries.

In You, O God, we trust…that we will recognize that dignity and worth of each person comes from you and is not determined by race or ethnicity, by age or gender, by economic or immigration status, by faith or creed.


Tonight, O God, we pray for “a new kind of politics, focused more on moral principles than on the latest polls, more on the needs of the poor and vulnerable than the contributions of the rich and powerful, more on the pursuit of the common good than the demands of special interests.”

We pray, O God,

That you will give us the courage, the wisdom, and the insight,

To build a nation founded on “life, liberty and the pursuit of justice” for all God’s children.

We make our prayer in your name.


Comments read comments(3)
post a comment

posted August 26, 2008 at 5:30 pm

O Omnipotent, amorphous, god creature, Fater/mother/it/ protect our political values as we don’t mention anything about our faith but philosophical ideas, held by all good people. We ask this in any name but Jesus, because that would be political suicide on this of the aisle…Help me Tom Cruise, Oprah use your witchcraft. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

report abuse


posted August 28, 2008 at 10:54 am

I think it is a beautiful prayer. One that offers a hand of love to many who may not feel the love of God in their lives, but who may hear the love of God in his words.I recognize that this was a prayer given 8 years ago. Before 9/11.Before this country began a war in the Middle East.Before it was politically correct to suspect all Muslims of terrorism.Before it was evident that our country could watch devastation on television, but do nothing to help.It seems to me that his prayer understands that loving others is one of Jesus’ direct calls to us as Christians.

report abuse

Pingback: Cardinal Dolan to give benediction at GOP convention

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.