On the last evening of the Democratic National Convention, two Catholic leaders delivered prayers to open and close the proceedings: Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, and James Martin, S.J., editor at large at America Media. Here are the texts of their prayers.
Sister Simone Campbell
I’m Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK and leader of Nuns on the Bus.
Tonight marks an important next chapter in our story of who we will become as a nation. So I speak to you with a sense of urgency and hope, knowing the difficult work ahead, grounded in my faith.
The very first paragraph of the Scripture that informs the three Abrahamic traditions tells us: The Divine Spirit breathed over the waters of chaos and brought forth a new creation. Encouraged by this promise that a new creation can come from chaos, let us pray:
O Divine Spirit!
During the weeks and months ahead, stir our hearts and minds that we might fight for a vision that is worthy of you and your call to honor the dignity of all of your creation.
A vision of who we are as a people, grounded in community and care for all, especially the most marginalized.
A vision that cares for our earth and heals the planet.
A vision that ends structural racism, bigotry and sexism so rife now in our nation and in our history.
A vision that ensures hungry people are fed, children are nourished, immigrants are welcomed.
O Spirit, breathe in us and our leaders a new resolve...that committed to this new American promise, we will work together to build a national community grounded in healing, fearlessly based on truth, and living out of a sense of shared responsibility.
In the name of all that is holy, O Spirit, bring out of this time of global and national chaos a new creation, a new community that can, with your help, realize this new promise that we affirm tonight.
With profound hope, let we the people say: Amen!
James Martin, S.J.
Open our hearts to those most in need:
The unemployed parent worried about feeding his or her children.
The woman who is underpaid, harassed or abused.
The Black man or woman who fear for their lives.
The immigrant at the border, longing for safety.
The homeless person looking for a meal.
The LGBT teen who is bullied.
The unborn child in the womb.
The inmate on death row.
Help us to be a nation where
every life is sacred,
all people are loved,
and all are welcome.
Dear friends: Here is the Benediction I prayed last night at the @DemConvention: a prayer for a nation where every life is sacred, all people are loved and all are welcome.— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) August 21, 2020
More here: https://t.co/lKxH89SZNu#DemocraticConvention#DNC2020pic.twitter.com/JbjwxVw8ku