Cardinal Kevin Farrell was born on 2 September 1947 in Dublin (Ireland) and was ordained a priest on 24 December 1978.
After serving as chaplain at the University of Monterrey in Mexico, in 1983 he was assigned to the parish of St Bartholomew in Bethesda in the United States of America. He served as curate in various parishes in the Archdiocese of Washington, as director of the Spanish Catholic Center, as acting executive director of Catholic charitable organizations, as secretary for financial affairs of the Archdiocese and as parish priest of the church of the Annunciation.
In 2001 he was assigned the offices of Vicar General for Administration and Moderator of the Curia. On 28 December of the same year he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Washington by John Paul II and received episcopal consecration on 11 February 2002.
On 6 March 2007 Benedict XVI called him to lead the diocese of Dallas. In the course of his episcopal ministry he assumed various positions that include Chancellor of the University of Dallas and member of the board of directors of the Catholic University of America, the Papal Foundation, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Saint Luke Institute in Washington. He was president of the New Evangelization of America, national delegate for international Eucharistic Congresses and episcopal moderator of the council for diocesan financial management.
He served the U.S. Bishops’ Conference as treasurer, president of the Budget and Finance Committee, president of the National Collections Committee, member of the Committee for Divine Worship, consultant to the Immigration Committee and member of the Working Group for the Promotion of Vocations to the Priesthood and Consecrated Life.
On 15 August 2016, Pope Francis appointed him Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.
He was made cardinal by Pope Francis in the ordinary public consistory of 19 November 2016, and given the diaconate church of San Giuliano Martire.
He is a member of the following:
‒ the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See;
‒ the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.
On 14 February 2019 Pope Francis appointed him as Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church.