Bishop John Carroll’s “Prayer for our Government”

WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement in response to today’s (Jan. 6, 2021) violence in the United States Capitol:

“I join people of good will in condemning the violence today at the United States Capitol. This is not who we are as Americans. I am praying for members of Congress and Capitol staff and for the police and all those working to restore order and public safety.

“The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of this great nation. In this troubling moment, we must recommit ourselves to the values and principles of our democracy and come together as one nation under God. I entrust all of us to the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May she guide us in the ways of peace, and obtain for us wisdom and the grace of a true patriotism and love of country.”

en Español

Presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Estados Unidos condena las protestas violentas y reza por la seguridad mientras el caos amenaza al Capitolio de Estados Unidos (6 de enero del 2021)

WASHINGTON — El arzobispo José H. Gomez de Los Ángeles, presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos (USCCB), emitió la siguiente declaración en respuesta a la violencia de hoy en el Capitolio de Estados Unidos:

“Me uno a las personas de buena voluntad para condenar la violencia de hoy en el Capitolio de Estados Unidos. Esto no es lo que somos los estadounidenses. Oro por los miembros del Congreso, el personal de Capitolio, por la policía y todos los que trabajan para restaurar el orden y la seguridad pública.

La transición pacífica del poder es uno de los sellos que caracterizan a esta gran nación. En este momento preocupante, debemos volver a comprometernos con los valores y principios de nuestra democracia y unirnos como una nación bajo Dios. Encomiendo a todos al corazón de la Santísima Virgen María, que ella nos guíe por los caminos de la paz y nos brinde la sabiduría y la gracia de un verdadero patriotismo y amor a la patria”.

Additional resources

Take the Civilize It pledge
Read “Civility: The ‘art of the possible,'” Bishop Walkowiak’s November 2020 FAITH magazine column.

Prayer for our Government:

In 1791, Bishop John Carroll wrote and delivered the well-known “Prayer for our Government,” urging Catholics to pray it with their parishes for God’s blessings on our nation and the Church. It seems a fitting time to reflect on his words. Let us continue to pray for our country and for one another:

We pray, O almighty and eternal God, who through Jesus Christ has revealed thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of your name.

 We pray Thee, who alone are good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, the pope, the vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, all other bishops, prelates and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise among us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct your people into the ways of salvation.

We pray O God of might, wisdom and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with your Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the president of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness and be eminently useful to your people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality.

 Let the light of your divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

 We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by your powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

 We recommend likewise, to your unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of your most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

 Finally, we pray to you, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of your servants departed, who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech you, a place of refreshment, light and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. 


About the photo: Supporters of President Donald Trump climb on walls at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Jan. 6, 2021, during a protest against Congress certifying the 2020 presidential election. (CNS photo/Stephanie Keith, Reuters)