Msgr. Kevin Sullivan delivered the opening invocation at the inauguration of Melissa Mark-Viverito, the new speaker of the City Council. The ceremony was held on Wednesday evening at Hostos Community College in the Bronx.
Below is the text of Msgr. Sullivan’s “Spirit of Hope” invocation:
God: You are loving, inspiring, challenging and comforting. Be with us in the City that we love and call home as we mark a new beginning filled with hope.
Bless our speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, to lead in a direction that brings together the talents of each to create a City that is more just and compassionate for all — especially for the poorest and most vulnerable of our neighbors.
Bless the members of this City Council to both represent the needs of each community and also collaboratively work for the common good of us all.
Bless and inspire each of us to lend our talents and energy to making this great city even greater for the all who live here.
Be with us with your gentle power so that:
When we go astray, you turn us back to the path of good.
When we do good, you challenge us to do better
When we grow weary and weak, you refresh and strengthen us.
When we divide ourselves for self-interest, you unite us for the common good
Strengthen the families of theBronx.
Protect and nurture the children ofBrooklyn.
Welcome immigrants of Queens,
Feed and house seniors on Staten Island
And in Manhattan help fashion owners, executives and managers of our powerful businesses to be wise and just; and grace those who labor in those businesses to be industrious, conscientious and fairly compensated.
May your light shine on every neighborhood and each street, in every apartment and house, upon all our the institutions: our schools and libraries, parks and playgrounds, our churches, mosques and synagogues, our community organizations and agencies, our buses and our subways; our yellow, green and multi-colored taxis – and so many, many more. For here in these diverse places is where we your people live and move and have our being each day.
Almighty God, you have made each of us – with our rich and wonderful diversity – in your own image and likeness. Strengthen us so that we might more clearly see your image in one another and manifest it by how we act.
Permit us one final petition, Almighty God, because of where we stand, about a mile from theBronx’s greatest Cathedral. Please, God, restore order to the universe and return the World Series and World Championship to us at Yankee Stadium next Fall.
All these blessing we ask – not merely tonight but forever and ever.