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Dallas Catholics Say Goodbye To Bishop Kevin Farrell

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It is the closing of a chapter for the Dallas Catholic diocese. Their local leader, Bishop Kevin Farrell is heading to the Vatican, but not before parishioners came together for a celebration.

The Mass of Thanksgiving was an opportunity for Dallas Catholics to express their gratitude to Bishop Kevin Farrell before he leaves to become the highest-ranking American at the Vatican.

"I was so emotional. I never get that emotional in mass, but I just hated to see him go," parishioner Lou Ann Corboy said.

Corboy and her husband Mike weren't the only ones sad to say goodbye.

Before the mass, Bishop Farrell said how difficult it is to leave the city that has been his home since 2007.

"Very sad. Sad because you know I have to leave a place that I've come to love," Farrell said.

Over the years, Farrell's work in Dallas has taken a moderate tone as he has tackled everything from Texas' open-carry law to the Ebola crisis.

Farrell was instrumental in allowing the family of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan to stay at a Diocese home at the height of the crisis, but he is quick to credit all the community leaders who made a difference.

"They did so much that most people do not realize during the Ebola crisis. During that crisis the best of Dallas came out," Farrell said.

As the head of the new Dicastery for the Laity, Families, and Life, Farrell will oversee the church's response to controversial cultural issues like abortion, contraception, and divorce.

"In a nutshell that will oversee everything to do with normal everyday people in the life of the church," Farrell said.

As he takes on the new role, he hopes his parishioners here will take comfort knowing the highest-ranking American at the Vatican is from Dallas.

"I think they should, and they'll know I will always have Dallas first on my agenda," Farrell said.

"He's the real deal, and he really cares for people, done a lot for our diocese, an awful lot, rejuvenated our diocese in many ways. We've been lucky to have him, very lucky," Mike Corboy said.

Pope Francis is expected to choose a new Dallas bishop in the months ahead, and Farrell promises he will help the new bishop continue the work he has started.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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