A Prayer for Our Country at the Democratic National Convention

Here is the prayer that I offered tonight at the Democratic National Convention:

With a “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,”  let us close this convention by praying for this land that we so cherish and love:

Let us Pray.

Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank you for showering your blessings upon this our beloved nation.  Bless all here present, and all across this great land, who work hard for the day when a greater portion of your justice, and a more ample measure of your care for the poor and suffering, may prevail in these United States.  Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us.

We beseech you, almighty God to shed your grace on this noble experiment in ordered liberty, which began with the confident assertion of inalienable rights bestowed upon us by you:  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thus do we praise you for the gift of life.  Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure.  We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected.  Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile.

We praise and thank you for the gift of liberty.  May this land of the free never lack those brave enough to defend our basic freedoms.  Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty:  the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding. May our liberty be in harmony with truth; freedom ordered in goodness and justice.  Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love.  Make us ever-grateful for those who, for over two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg the protection of your mighty arm upon our men and women in uniform.

We praise and thank you for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness.  Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God.  Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community.  May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries.

We praise and thank you for the American genius of government of the people, by the people and for the people.  Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us:  President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Congress, the Supreme Court, and all those, including Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office.  Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country.  Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself. With your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy.

And finally Lord, we beseech your benediction on all of us who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who yearn to conduct their lives in freedom and justice.  We beg you to remember, as we pledge to remember, those who are not free; those who suffer for freedom’s cause; those who are poor, out of work, needy, sick, or alone; those who are persecuted for their religious convictions, those still ravaged by war.

And most of all, God Almighty, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country.

For we are indeed “one nation under God,” and “in God we trust.”

So dear God, bless America.  You who live and reign forever and ever.


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118 Responses to “A Prayer for Our Country at the Democratic National Convention”

  1. Annie says:

    You knocked it out of the ballpark, Father. I tuned in for the RNC Benediction as well. Your tone tonight was much stronger and more pointed. It needed to be. God bless you.

  2. Conrado Oseguera says:

    Beautiful, but hoping You not to take deep part in political events. You know that enemies of the Church are always following these situarions to negatively criticize pur behaviour. Greetings from Honduras, land of Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez.

  3. Anna says:

    Thank you, Cardinal Dolan, for this beautiful prayer at the DNC. Not all registered Democrats are pro-choice, and unfortunately, many people forget that. I belong to the Democrats for Life organization which disagrees with the current party platform. I’m pro-DOMA as well. People ask me why I’m not a Republican, and my answer is simple: We have veterans’ benefits, social security retirement and disability pay, and welfare for people who have fallen on hard times. Democrats have traditionally supported the “little guy” in this country who works hard to make a meager wage. Unfortunately, through no fault of my own, I found myself disabled at the age of 36—30 yrs too soon to stop working—and I would be homeless if it weren’t for SSDI benefits that I paid into since I started working at age 14! In a nation that is so rich, it seems a shame that we have to force people to be generous by taxation. Certainly many charities exist that get donations regularly from those who can give; but, how many people “adopt a family” and cover their expenses when the breadwinner lost his job because the corporation he works for outsourced all the work overseas? No one I know does that.

    I am a practicing Roman Catholic and registered Democrat for that reason: those who are poor, unemployed, disabled, elderly, and served our nation in the military have some assistance when they need it! I only wish the helpless unborn were counted among those who need protection and assistance too. I remember when only fathers worked while mothers raised their own children and kept the house a real home. Our nation has grown into one that is full of families where both parents “need” to work to make ends meet, or have only one parent working and raising the children. Our family unit has eroded away. The values of too many Americans are skewed—secular relativism has turned the tables, making people who adhere to traditional morality “judgmental” because we aren’t tolerant of sexual aberrancy.

    I appreciate you representing the true faith in your prayer at the DNC tonight. I don’t know if any consciences will be bothered enough to rethink their positions on abortion, the HHS mandate, or same sex marriages, but all things are possible with God! And to your prayer, I say Amen!

  4. doug d. says:

    Your Eminence,

    Thank you so much for your backbone and in not shying away from the issues that affect the Church in our country so deeply. Continue to stand tall for life, family, and heaven. We’re with you. Thank our Blessed Lord for this new generation of strong Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests.

    Christus vincit
    Christus regnat
    Christus imperat

  5. M Marshall says:

    Wow! I was truly moved by your prayer. I humbly stand with you in this petition to God. Thank you for your recognition of the unborn, our brave servicemen and women and for, as you said here, “the great gift of our beloved country”!

  6. Christy Mattingly says:

    Cardinal Dolan:

    I think this was beautiful and so appropriate.

    Thank you for giving this most important speech.

    May God bless and keep you.

    Christy A. Mattingly

  7. Steve Maurice says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    Nice prayer, but I doubt that a delegation that voted God out of their platform the day before was really feeling it. On the bright side, at least they didn’t boo you like they did Him.

    Now that your political convention tour is over and you begin to work on your speech prep for the Al Smith Dinner, let me suggest a joke: “What do St. Peter and the DNC have in common? They both denied our Lord three times.”

  8. Irwin says:

    The ONLY TRUTHFUL message at the DNC!!!!!!! Thank You Archbishop for the 2nd mention of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. There is finally REAL hope that we can change our country for the better.

    May God help us to Save the America we love!

  9. Efrain Sora says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan, I heard your closing prayer at the RNC and I have just read your closing prayer at the DNC. May the Lord continue to bless you and bestow upon you the gift of Wisdom. May the God of Solomon continue giving you the strength to speak on behalf of those in need, especially the unborn. May the Spirit of truth continue to govern the gift of you priesthood. In Jesus’ name.

  10. Betty Ventura says:

    Thank you so much for posting. After the networks and the DNC cut your prayer, it took me a few minutes to find it on C-Span.

    Thank you!

  11. Chris Bracken says:

    That was very thoughtful. I hope the people were listening.

  12. Maria says:

    Bless you, Father, you are a brave man. Thank you for this prayer and the benediction. My prayers remain with you. You make me proud to be a Catholic, and right now, this is so needed.

  13. Susan McKay says:

    Thank you for your bravery Cardinal Dolan. What better venue to remind those present of the sanctity of life than the DNC!!

  14. Thank you for the wisdom and grace we received through this inspirational prayer!
    God bless you and God bless America

  15. maureen and Tom McCormack says:

    Cardinal Dolan
    Thank you for the benediction so sorely needed at this convention. We pray that some of your words may touch the hearts and minds of the convention goers and our country will once again be a nation under God.

  16. Patrick McCarthy says:

    Thank you Cardinal Dolan … I didn’t think there was any way you could do this without giving away the soul of our country to the GODless Democratic Platform … but you did it … You wrote that as if they were the Democrats of old … GOD Bless you Cardinal Dolan … and I thank you … GOD Bless us all.

  17. Dawn Elizabeth Slike says:

    I am so very happy and proud of my Catholic Church that you did this, Cardinal Dolan. The audience was stunned to silence. You clearly pricked some consciences.

  18. Christine says:


  19. Carly says:

    Archbishop, I am not of your faith but I wanted to tell you how thankful I am that you were courageous enough to give this prayer at the DNC. I thought it was incredible and sincere. May the Lord bless and watch over you.

  20. JohnG says:

    I think you covered all of the points. Well done.

  21. doris says:

    I attend your mass on sundays. I love you warm and your anointed spirit. Thank you cardinal for being you.

    To me you remind me of pope. paul.

    You will be a wonderful and luv pope.

  22. Your Eminence,

    Thank you for the beautiful prayer you offered last night at the DNC. After the fight to put God back into their plank and the parade of people wanting free birth control and abortion rights, it was so good to see you call upon the God, who they seemed to want to turn from, and ask his blessings on everyone. It was a true sign of His love for us all and His willingness to recognize that we have failings and shortcoming, but that we are still all His children.

    It was a magnificent prayer and I hope a lot of those who were booing God before had their hearts touched by it.

    Yours truly,

    Marie O’Donnell

  23. Paul Franklin says:

    Amen, and Thank You, Cardinal Dolan.

  24. Frederick Schmidt says:

    Your closing prayer was the only worthwhile speech to be heard at the DNC last night.
    Thank you for your inspirational words!

  25. It is interesting that the DNC benediction echoed the sacrament of CONFIRMATION! Thank you Cardinal Dolan for your witness to Christ.

    May we all come to know our great God in Christ Jesus!

    Let us stand firm in our faith.

    In Christ,

    Vivian Cuadras

  26. Edward Har says:

    Nicely done, Your Eminence! No doubt that the Democrats listening to that prayer understood EXACTLY what you were telling them in the very tactful yet firm way in which you pronounced the truths of God’s Word in the form of a prayer. Beautiful!

  27. Kent says:

    Thank you, Cardinal Dolan for that very fine prayer.

  28. Edie Prost says:

    A prayer to remember and to repeat daily. A petition to be sung to our almighty God-echoed across this nation from the hearts of those who know Him.

  29. Beautiful Prayer. Some of us were offended that PBS cut away to thier own studio commentary before the benediction and never carried it.
    Bro. Dan Sollecito, SFO

  30. Lynn Maiocco says:

    Way to go Cardinal Dolan! You make me proud to be a Catholic! God Bless You!

  31. Don Al berstadt says:

    Only mentioned hot button issues on Catholic Church agenda:
    Abortion, healthcare, religius freedom.

    Not mentioned: right of workers to organize, the environment, providing refuge for immigrants, and refugees, gun control, employing negotiations versus war, eliminate the death penalty, economic justice and fairness and responsibility.

    So just missed a couple of things.

  32. Vince C says:

    Your Eminence, you benediction at the DNC was a work of inspired genius. You hit all the high points that needed to be made to this particular audience and to the world: the sanctity of life, religious freedom, traditional marriage. To deliver this message in the Lion’s Den, as it were, took a tremendous amount of courage and conviction that could only come from God. Watching the faces of those attending the convention was priceless. A few seemed to be edified by the your words, but I saw a lot of annoyed and hostile faces, and not a few faces that were convicted and struggling with guilty consciences. Bless you, Cardinal Dolan.

  33. Dorothy says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,
    I am grateful to your strong and principled defense of Catholic principles. However,
    I respectfully disagree with your decision to invite President Obama to the Al Smith Dinner.

    In light of the President’s disdain for the First Amendment rights and the mortal threat he represents to religious institutions, I suggest that media coverage and “photo-ops” be elinimated.

    D. Fuchs

  34. Monica says:

    Cardinal Dolan,
    Thank you for the strength of your faith. Our prayers are with you as you lead us in our faith journey. May we be strengthened to live our lives with such boldness as you have demonstrated on numerous occasions.
    May God’s graces be poured out upon.

  35. Paul S says:

    I thought it was absolutely brillant. Although first and foremost it was a prayer, some of the points made in the prayer were absolutely in your face about the Democrats culture of death

  36. Elizabeth says:

    Cardinal Dolan, Thank you for praying for all these things we believe in.

  37. Barbara Bowers says:

    Thank you ,Your Eminance, Your talk was right on! I know the Holy Spirit was @ work again!

  38. Georga Collins says:

    Archbishop Dolan….that was the very BEST prayer ever prayed! You covered all the issues with love and blessing. You were strong, courageous, and sincere. I’m so glad I saw you praying, because I had not watched the DNC but kept it on Fox while I watched some recorded programs. Then, there you were.
    I am praying that Mitt Romney wins this race. Pundits say there was more excitement at the DNC than the RNC, but as I’ve grown, I realized that getting all excited does normally carry one through life or Faith or marriage. It’s a walk, not a sprint.

    Much love and blessings to you,
    Georga Collins
    Rio Rancho, NM

  39. I am very pleased to be able to read Cardinal Dolan’s Benediction prayer via facebook this morning. The prayer was beautiful, inspiring and well done. Unfortunately, the TV channel I chose to watch the convention on switched right off to the news anchor. You could slightly hear and see Cardinal Dolan as he began to speak. I pray that the media, etc. will have the courage to allow everyone to be “free” to express our “freedom of speech”, and not feel intimidated by the ones who protest. Thank you Cardinal Dolan for your precious words. In God we trust and God Bless America!

  40. Joel says:

    Thank you, Cardinal Dolan, for distinguishing Jesus from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thank you for remembering the unborn. Would you please consider rescinding your invitation to Obama to the dinner right before the election? Pictures of the two of you together will help him be reelected.

  41. Great Job Your Eminence :)

  42. Fr. Bob says:

    Cardinal Dolan,
    Thank you for that prayer. For some days, i have become ever so fully convinced that prayer is our sure refuge in the Lord in the midst of today’s storms.

  43. melissa marcelli says:

    God bless America and God bless Cardinal Dolan. Thank you for your benediction on the DNC. Your prayer especially for defending the gift of life was like a balm to my soul. Your words, as they are ordained by God himself, will be used to penetrate hearts and minds across this country. Again, thank you, Cardinal Dolan.

  44. Mary Ann Curry says:

    I read Cardinal Dolan’s prayer on facebook. Sadly, ABC switched to the news anchor just as the Catdinal began to pray. I felt bad! I pray that the media,etc. will gain the courage to allow everyone to express & witness our “Fredom of Speech”, and not be intimidated by the protesters. Thank You Cardinal for your precious words.

  45. Mary Ann Curry says:

    Thank you Cardinal Dolan for your precious words.

  46. Tanya Shaw says:

    God bless you Cardinal Dolan!!!!! God bless you!!!!!

  47. ciao says:

    Well done, your excellency!

    If I have opposed your getting anywhere near those Democrats before, I take it back now, because you have proved that your intentions were of the best and your words are truly courageous. Beautiful and powerful prayer. Thank you. God be with you and Mary love you.

  48. Magnus says:

    THANK YOU and MAY ALMIGHTY GOD WORK THROUGH YOU ALWAYS! I would vote for you for Pope but we need you in the USA more to lead the battle against the evil upon us.

  49. Carleen says:

    Thank you Cardinal Dolan. I was proud to be a Catholic last night. I am a Catholic woman that was disgusted at Caroline Kennedy, but very glad to hear your prayer.
    May God continue to bless you.