Rev. William Dorwart, C.S.C., Catholic Chaplain for Naval District Washington, prayed the invocation at Friday night's (Dec. 6, 2013) National Christmas Tree Lighting near the White House.
You can watch a replay of the tree lightingceremony byclicking this link.The invocation occurred about 5:19 p.m. and followed the tree lighting by the First Family and a rendition of "Joy to the World" by Aretha Franklin. It will also be rebroadcast on PBS in markets across the country beginning the week of Dec. 16th. To find out when it will broadcast in your area, visit this PBS TV listing page.
Fr. Dorwart was received into the Congregation on Aug. 15, 1973; professed First Vows on Aug. 2, 1975; made his Final Vows on Sept. 15, 1978; and was ordained a priest on April 12, 1980. He has served in the U.S. Navy three times and holds the rank of lieutenant commander twice. Fr. Dorwart also served as provincial superior of the former Indiana Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross (now the United States Province of Priests and Brothers), as well as the Director of Campus MinistryUniversity of Portlandand pastor of two Holy Cross parishes in South Bend, Ind. Fr. Dorwart has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
Fr. Dorwart's Prayer
O gracious God, source of every gift and blessing, we are a grateful people:
grateful for the gifts of life and liberty;
grateful for this holy season and the hope it stirs.
As we gather around this Christmas tree - ever-green; as we sing our Christmas song - oh so promising, we long for your light.
O Light of truth guide us on the way;
O Light of understanding draw us beyond differences;
O Light of wisdom usher us to that new day when our children's children will delight in your peace.
Bless us, O God, in this and in every season that we might bear your holy light as a gift; that we might live as a blessing among your cherished children.