Statement by Bishop Murry on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s Assassination


On the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

November 22, 2013

“For one true measure of a nation is its success in fulfilling the promise of a better life for each of its members. Let this be the       measure of our nation.” –“Special message to the Congress on National Health Needs (65),” February 27, 1962, Public Papers of the President: John F. Kennedy, 1962.

“This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.” — “Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union (12),” January 14, 1963, Public Papers of the President: John F. Kennedy, 1963.

Fifty years ago today, three shots rang out in Dallas, Texas, thus ending the life of the first Catholic President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. No one alive at that time will ever forget where they were when they heard the dreadful news. The death of this young, vigorous man was truly a watershed in American history. American life was different after his passing.

The New Frontier he promised us seemed to slip away in those few seconds in Dallas. Historians will argue over his legacy, but one thing is certain: John F. Kennedy brought us a new hope that the United States—and the world—could be made better—not by wishing for it, but by taking responsibility to be the agents of change. What we should remember about President Kennedy is not his tragic death, but his commitment to service above all else.

Please join me today on this 50th anniversary of his death in praying for our nation, our governmental and civic leaders, our religious leaders, and the people of our nation and world, that we may together devote ourselves to building just and peaceful communities in our neighborhoods and cities that promote human dignity and respect for all human life.