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Kevin Joseph Farrell Edit Profile

bishop , Catholic priest

Kevin Joseph Farrell, Irish bishop. Named a Prelate of Honor, Pope John Paul II, 1995.


Kevin Farrell was born in Dublin, Ireland, and grew up speaking Irish.


Bachelor, University Salamanca, Spain, 1968. Bachelor, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1971. Master of Arts, Pontifical University St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 1976.

Licentiate of Sacred Theology, Pontifical University St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome, 1977.


In 1967, he visited the United States while raising funds for the missions of Latin America through the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Salamanca in Spain, followed by studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a Master's degree in Philosophy and licentiate in theology. He holds a Master's in business and administration from the University of Notre Dame as well.

Farrell was ordained to the priesthood in Rome on December 24, 1978. He then served as chaplain to the University of Monterrey in Mexico, where he also conducted seminars in bioethics and social ethics. In 1984, Farrell was assigned to the United States and incardinated in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. He served as an associate pastor at St. Peter's Church in Olney, St. Bartholomew Church in Bethesda, and St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Washington.

He succeeded Fr. Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap, as director of the Spanish Catholic Center in 1986. Farrell became acting director of Catholic Charities in 1988, and was the Archdiocesan Secretary of Finance from 1989 to 2001. He was raised to the rank of Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in 1995.

In 2001, he was named vicar general for the Archdiocese and pastor of Annunciation Church in Washington. On December 28, 2001 Pope John Paul II appointed Farrell as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Washington Archdiocese with the titular see of Rusuccuru. He was consecrated on February 11, 2002 by Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, and served until 2007 as Washington's moderator of the curia and chief vicar-general.

He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on March 6, 2007 to replace the retiring Bishop Charles Victor Grahmann. He was installed on May 1, 2007. The new Bishop Farrell was presented a gift by his predecessor Bishop Charles Grahmann: baseball caps representing the four Dallas-area home town sports teams.

Within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Farrell is a consultant to the Committee on Migration, which oversees the Migration and Refugee Services department. This department serves and advocates for refugees, asylees, other forced migrants, immigrants and people on the move. Farrell is also the 2009 chair-elect of the USCCB Committee on National Collections, which supports stewardship and coordinates the collections for social justice, evangelization, education and institutional development.

He will assume the chair in November 2009. My older brother – but I became a bishop before he did. There's still some of that sibling rivalry.".


A former member of the Legion of Christ, he is the seventh and current Bishop of Dallas as well as the Chancellor of the University of Dallas. The second of four sons, he has an older brother, Brian, who currently serves as Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in the Roman Curia. Farrell studied under the Christian Brothers in Drimnagh, and entered the novitiate of the Legion of Christ in 1966.

He was also General Administrator of the Legion of Christ with responsibilities for seminaries and schools in Italy, Spain, and Ireland. Bishop Farrell's brother, Bishop Brian Farrell, is currently the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.