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President Kennedy Attends Mass in Palm Desert, Calif.

Dec. 9, 1962 - President Kennedy interrupted a relaxing weekend in Palm Desert, Calif., to attend Mass before returning to Washington later tonight. His attendance at Sacred Heart Catholic Church was the only public appearance he made except at the airport at Palm Springs when he arrived yesterday. Today’s sermon was delivered by the Rev. A.C. Edwards, pastor of the church. Early in the service, Rev. Edwards said, “I am delighted to have in our midst the President of the United States. He comes to church to pay tribute to God. Because we have such a President, all of us should rejoice. God forbid the day — and I hope that day never comes — when crowds will be forced to gather to meet a man, like in a dictatorship.” He noted that in Russia, people are forced to do things, but “here we gather freely. The President guides the destinies of our country. God bless him, and God welcome him to our midst.” After the service, the President stopped to shake hands with onlookers and then moved to his waiting car. Secret Service men were pressed tightly against the convertible when the crowd surged forward, almost blocking its movement back to the Bing Crosby home on Silver Spur Ranch.


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