A Prayer for California

Rev. Stephen Privett, S.J., USF President Emeritus, Chancellor, McCarthy Center cofounder, and this year’s recipient of the Leo T McCarthy Award, was on hand at the inauguration of California Governor, Gavin Newsom, where he performed the official invocation. Today we share those words, also viewable HERE.

“Today it is fitting that we turn to the Irish poet Seamus Heaney because he was the favorite of Gavin’s father, Judge Bill Newsom, and because I think this particular piece captures something of Governor Elect Newsom’s vision for the State of California. It is from his poem,

Invocation at Governor Newsom’s Inauguration

The Far Side of Revenge

History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.

Let us pray. Gracious God of all peoples and faiths. We pray today for the state of California and our newly elected Governor, Gavin Newsom, that you grace him with wisdom, courage, imagination and humility. We also pray in thanksgiving for the years of service to this state of his predecessor Governor Jerry Brown. We pray that Governor Newsom may inspire all Californians to move beyond petty, partisan concerns, and lead us to that place on the far side of revenge during this rancorous and dangerously divisive moment in our nation’s history. Under His guidance, may we exercise our responsibility for raising up a tidal wave of justice in whose wake, hope and history will rhyme for all Californians, especially the weak and vulnerable among us. May Governor Newsom’s life and leadership embolden us to believe again in miracles and cures and healing wells as we work together to ensure California’s legacy as a land of promise and place of opportunity for all. We ask for this in Your name. Amen.”

Join us in honoring Stephen A. Privett, S.J. with a dinner and presentation of the Leo T. McCarthy Award for Public Service on March 14, 2019 at The Olympic Club–Lakeside. For tickets and sponsorships, visit https://rsvp.usfca.edu/mccarthy-award

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