Pope Francis’ appointment today of Most Reverend Kevin Farrell, Bishop of Dallas as the head of the Vatican’s newly created dicastery, responsible for the Church’s pastoral care for laity, family, youth and life issues is cause for rejoicing in the whole Church. After several years of careful study and reflection, Pope Francis has made one of the most significant restructuring moves and appointments of his Petrine Ministry by naming Bishop Farrell to this position.
As head of the Vatican department that oversees laity, marriage, family and young people, especially through World Youth Days, Bishop Farrell will have a very special concern for the implementation of Pope Francis’ landmark Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Bishop Farrell, who is 68 years old, was ordained to the priesthood in Rome for the Legionaries of Christ in 1978. After a brief period as member of the Legion, he was incardinated as a diocesan priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, where he served in several parishes, including Pastor of the Church of the Annunciation in Washington, D.C.
Bishop Farrell’s ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington included a wide variety of assignments including serving as the Director of the Spanish Catholic Center, the Assistant Executive Director and Interim Director of Catholic Charities, and the Archdiocesan Secretary of Finance and Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Washington. He was named Monsignor in 1995 by Pope John Paul II and was ordained an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington on February 11, 2002.
Bishop Farrell was appointed the seventh Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, Texas on March 6, 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI and was installed at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Dallas on May 1, 2007. Throughout his episcopal ministry, he has distinguished himself as a very effective, courageous, pastoral leader and collaborative administrator.
In addition to his duties as Bishop of Dallas, Bishop Farrell currently serves as the Chancellor of the University of Dallas, and on the Board of Trustees of The Papal Foundation, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, The Catholic University of America, and St. Luke Institute in Washington, D.C. He is the President of the New Evangelization of America, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, Inc. Bishop Farrell is also the Treasurer of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Chairman of the Committee on Budget and Finance of the USCCB.
Bishop Kevin’s brother, Brian, a member of the Legionaries of Christ, is also a bishop in Rome, serving for the past 14 years in the very important post of Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
Congratulations, Bishop Kevin! May the Lord bless you as you bid farewell to the people of Dallas and take up your new responsibilities at the heart of the Church. You will be a great friend to the Church in North America, in particular, and bring to Rome a rich, vast pastoral experience that bodes well for the newly created dicastery that deals with the majority of Catholic in the world! Count on the prayers, good wishes and collaboration of all of us at Salt and Light Television in Canada!
Rev. Thomas Rosica, CSB
Chief Executive Officer
Photo credit, top:
Courtesy of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas