A new bishop was installed for the Diocese of Dallas yesterday afternoon. Bishop Kevin Farrell succeeds the long-serving Bishop Charles Grahmann, who turned 75.
The downtown Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe was packed for the 2 p.m. installation mass.
Hundreds of faithful sat and stood outside under a tent that overcast afternoon to watch the mass on a big-screen TV.
Some of the faithful demonstrated their joy for the occasion with exuberant song and dancing before and after the mass.
After the mass, several hundred people filled a reception room across from the church. Bishop Farrell stood in front of a table adorned with a 4-foot bouquet of flowers, shaking hands and posing for photographs.
The 59-year-old Farrell was born in Dublin, Ireland, and served as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., since 2002. There, he administered the archdiocese's sexual abuse policy for members of the clergy, employees and adult volunteers. He would also meet with people who alleged incidents of abuse.
"Certainly I believe there is zero tolerance for anyone who harms a child. I cannot emphasize that more," Farrell had said at the March news conference.
Bishop Farrell was appointed to Dallas in March. The new metropolitan bishop says he looks forward to working with ecumenical leaders and civic officials to "build a community that truly respects the dignity of every human person."
The Dallas diocese is the 10th-largest in the nation with about 1 million members in 74 parishes. Bishop Charles Grahmann had served the diocese since 1990.