Jesuit Fr. William Bryon gave an invocation and led more than 20,000 people in prayer Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia on the convention’s penultimate night. He preceded two of the party’s biggest names — President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden — who delivered their speeches to roaring acclaim.
In the invocation, Byron referenced the name of Micah Xavier Johnson, the shooter of five police officers July 7 in Dallas who was later killed by police at an otherwise peaceful demonstration in that city.
Asking everyone to pause silently in prayer, he offered the invocation:
“Lord God, creator and ruler of the universe, we invoke your blessing on this assembly tonight, mindful that you hold our destiny in your hands. Life itself is your gift to us; what we do with our lives is our gift to you.
“Bless us, we pray, as we look to the future of our nation. Keep us free of hatred and violence. Protect us from confusion; we make the words of Francis Xavier our own: ‘In you, O Lord, have I put my hope. Let me never be confounded.’
“And we turn to your prophet Micah to listen to you speak the words that he passed on to us: ‘You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice, to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God’ (Micah 6:8).
“Help us, Lord, to work unceasingly for justice, to know what is good and seek it without fail, and to be truly humble as we walk with you into an unknown but hope-filled future. Amen.”
Read more about the priest and his prayer.