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A Prayer for the Nation

In 1791, John Carroll—the first Catholic bishop of the United States—wrote a “Prayer for the Nation.” At a tumultuous time, as the leader of an embattled religious minority who represented less than two percent of the new nation’s population, he understood what it means to turn toward an uncertain tomorrow with clear civic ideals and timeless faith.

We have come this far by that faith and those ideals. And as we and our students reflect today in light of both, we invite you to join us in this excerpt of Archbishop Carroll’s prayer:


We recommend to Thy 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 Thy 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.



For the full text of Archbishop Carroll’s “Prayer for the Nation,” click here