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. Mary Firtz says:

    Dear Sir,
    I vary much appreciate you standing infront of those people and making them listen to your words and standing them still if just for a breif moment…….I imagine it caused them to behave and reflect as individuals instead of collective mob type behavior if ever so breifly……Listen and Praise GOD …Humble yourselves…….GOD Bless you Sir Bishop…..Thank – You for your courage to say befor somany what we never get a chance to finish our words….But you did…God Bless You AMEN

  2. Joanne says:

    It had to take a lot of courage to deliver that prayer after the Dems had a problem making up their minds about keeping God as part of the platform. I hope other Bishops throughout the country get behind Cardinal Dolan; I hope they go speak about this issue to the priests in their diocese.

    It should be clear to Catholics that Obama needs to leave office and that longtime Catholics who support either him or the Democratic Party need to make a moral decision leaving both to the wind.

  3. Fred says:


    I thank you for your words of faith and love to the democrats but fear they were wasted.
    They think themselves above god and his decress. We are supposed to witness to them but how can we when they don’t even respect us??

  4. Cristina says:

    As I listened to you on youtube the day after. With every sentence, my jaw kept dropping lower and lower. How you got through that benediction, that amazing benediction, and came out alive is beyond me. God is good and merciful indeed and the courage that you exemplified by going into the lion’s den and slapping every lion there across the face was definitely something I am thankful God let me witness. It truly was brilliant and courageous. THANK YOU!!!

    And then when you were done, I laughed so hard at the fact that you pretty much debunked the entire convention in one benediction. That was awesome!

    God bless you Father!

  5. Dave Wickert says:

    I am sure everyone regardless of political leaning appreciated you making the effort to offer a prayer at both conventions. Thank you.

  6. Gil Brady says:


    I do realize you have been busy, and appreciate the work you are doing. I am, however, frustrated that my comments are your blog are “awaiting moderation”. Please have someone explain what exactly this means.

    I am asking you again to address the recent events involving the defrocking of Msgr Kavanagh. His sole accuser has retracted his accusations and yet the church sits by and does nothing to address this injustice. Here is my letter from earlier, please note that it has been awaiting moderation for almost a month.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    August 16, 2012 at 2:15 am
    Archbishop Dolan,

    I was struck by this passage:

    The Church, too, is accountable. In the past, at times, some Catholics acted like the Church was above reproach, exempt from the demands of accountability, on its own, above it all. That was wrong. That was tragic.

    As your archbishop, I am accountable to many, and I’m glad that I am, because I am weak, imperfect, flawed. Daily do I examine my conscience. Every two weeks I tell God, “I’m sorry,” in the sacrament of penance. Often do I meet with people, boards, and councils to whom I report, and ask for advice and criticism.

    I respectfully request that you hold yourself accountable in regards to the actions the archdiocese has taken since Daniel Donahue recanted his allegations against Msgr Charles Kavanagh.

    The church needs to be accountable for misleading the public on the facts of this case and you specifically need to be willing to acknowledge that the church acted without sufficient evidence and has refused to admit their mistake now that the accuser has recanted.

    If you believe in the words you write, and i believe you do. Please take action right away to demonstrate the fact that the church can role model appropriate humility and reverse their decision on Msgr. Kavanagh and restore him to full standing. If you do not do this, in a case where one accuser has come forward and subsequently recanted, then you cannot with clear conscience stand by this blog.


    Gil Brady

  7. Philip Abraham says:

    Thank you for praying for us at the Democratic Convention, too. That prayer is helpful for me to read again, now (and again). So very much we need wisdom and strength as we work to do what we feel is right. Thank you for continuing to pray hard for our candidate, Mr Obama — not that he will win the election; rather that he will be led and protected and strengthened to be successful in doing good work through 2016. May the peace of Christ be with you always.

  8. Leilani says:

    1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” The prayer was bold, strong and courageous in these ungodly times.
    Thank you so much Cardinal Dolan for such a wonderful blessing and prayer! Praise God for your leadership at the DNC.

  9. liz says:

    Cardinal Dolan. Thank you for your words during the Republican and Democratic conventions. I am at a loss for words on how I feel about the celebration of abortion during the Democratic convention. When I first started thinking about the Al Smith dinner several months ago I thought for sure you would not host it but I was disappointed to find out you decided to go ahead. I accepted your reasoning and hoped it was the right descision to ahead with it. Now after the blatant disregard for human life at the democratic convention, how can you give this President any platform? The decision doesn’t have to be partisan. Just say you cannot give either canidate a platform. Cardinal Dolan, how do you expect those faithful to chuch teaching, to feel if you give such evil a platform. Please reconsider the Al Smith Dinner. Please invite Pro-Life Christians, whether Democrat or Republican, to honor at this dinner. You cannot invite Barack Obama and not alienate your most faithful. Please, Please it’s not too late. God Bless, Liz

  10. Lincoln Richey says:


  11. Peter Venter says:

    I tuned into a part of the Dep. Convention when they were voting for the removal of God’s name and avoid stating that Jerusalem is the capitol of Israel.

    Can someone tell me more on this. As I said, I only tuned in when the vote was taken.

  12. Steve says:

    What happened to the “thee’s and thou’s and thy’s”? What was the rationale for change?
    The “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”nest? Every change in prayer requires an act of the will.

  13. Lee says:

    A blessing upon you, Cardianal Dolan.

    I have recently been requested to sign a petition to you that Move On is preparing, demanding that you prove that you really meant what you said (at the DNC: that you had come to the convention to pray, not to endorse a candidate) by instructing the priests in your diocese to stay out of partisan politics.

    I do not support this petition. I particularly do not support the (false) witness these goons are bearing against you: that if any priest in your diocese engages in partisan politics, then you really were at the convention to endorse a candidate, and therefore lied in your prayer.

    Although I was raised in a Christian home, I am certainly not a Catholic. Although I feel that abortion is an important option, I agree that there are far too many abortions here in America. Although I do not completely agree with everything you try to do, I will state unequivocally that it is wrong for anyone to bear false witness against another, as Move On has chosen to do to you in its petition.

    Please do not allow yourself to be swayed by this dishonest petition. People of conscience have just as much right to engage in politics as people of no conscience.

  14. Robert hochfelder says:

    TD!!! Stands for Timothy Dolan and TOUCHDOWN. Cardinal, you scored at the DNC. God bless you today and always in your ministry.

  15. pamela menera says:

    Your Eminence, Your Benediction was beautiful and courageous considering all the disturbing rhetoric spewed during the Convention. With all due respect, what is so troubling to me, is that with so many speakers, claiming to be Catholic and yet advocating ideology that is in direct conflict with the teachings of the Church..no member of the Clergy has said anything in defense of our true beliefs as faithful Catholics. I find it beyond irony that this Sunday begins the year of the New Evangelization , yet there is deafening silence on the part of the Bishops regarding the misrepresentation , by so many in the political arena, of our Faith. Caroline Kennedy is one obvious example . You simply cannot be Catholic, and support abortion. I pray that the Lord will inspire you to speak out specifically to those prominent misleading individuals, who do not speak for the Church. God Bless You, Strengthen You, and Guide You.

  16. Eddie says:

    I am really suprised they didnt stop you in the middle and throw you out. You not only used the banned word almost ten times, but even used His sons name. I know the Holy Spirit was tweeking alot of collected conciousnessess that night with that prayer. That was very inspiring and heartfelt. God Bless!

  17. Adele Tanguy says:

    Thank you for your beautiful prayer & for the courage you displayed & inspired us with in plroclaiming God’s truths with your pleas to Him. We are blessed with your leadership, but please confront what Caroline Kennedy said “as a Catholic woman“-she is delusional as to what beliefs her faith requires. I assume she was confirmed & baptized? Doesn’t she need to be reminded of her promises?

  18. Beverly Sobraske says:

    Your Eminence: Now is your opportunity to show that the church stands by their rhetoric and principles. Caroline Kennedy should be excommunicated for her statement at the convention , backing “women’s reproductive rights”. We all know her words were code words for abortion rights. When is the church and especially the College of Cardinals of the United States going to have the courage to publically stand against the catholics in public office who promote and vote for abortion? I DO NOT GET IT!! What is more important that human life? If we do not come out against the pro abortion stands of the Kennedys, the Pelosis, and all the other catholics in congress, what moral standing do we have in the world? Please have the courage to publically and privately confront Ms. Kennedy in spite of her money and popularity. Noone should be more important that the lives of the unborn. Thank you and God bless you.

    Sincerely, Beverly Sobraske