June 21, 2013
Read Bishop Doherty's statement on Religious Liberty - 6/23
Read a statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Supreme Court decisions from this week - 6/23
"Religious liberty is the first liberty granted to us by God and protected in the First Amendment to our Constitution. It includes more than our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It also encompasses our ability to contribute freely to the common good of all Americans." - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB.org
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is once again dedicating a two week period this summer that will be known as the Fortnight for Freedom - "a great hymn of prayer for our country."
This special period will commence June 21 on the vigil of the feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, both faithful martyrs who faced persecution by political power. The fortnight will culminate on July 4 as the country celebrates its Independence Day.
What is the Fortnight for Freedom? This period invites and encourages Catholics across the nation to join in prayer, study, catechesis and public action as a way to "emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty." Since the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789, the First Amendment has protected free exercise of religion for Americans; however, with developing news regarding such matters as the Aug. 1 deadline for organizations to comply with the HHS Mandate, attempts to redefine marriage, and religious liberty concerns with immigration and humanitarian services, the religious liberty of many Catholics, religious institutions, and others is in jeopardy.
What can you do? The USCCB has a vast number of resources for individuals to increase their knowledge of the issues facing our country and threatening religious freedom. They have also supplied a number of prayers and daily reflections for families and ministries to use during Fortnight for Freedom. Additionally, readers may find resources on USCCB.org that help with writing state representatives and members of congress regarding current issues.
Some things to consider doing during the fortnight are:
- Pray individually, with your family, or together with a ministry. USCCB prayers
- Spend time with the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel and celebrate the sacraments.
- Stay informed on issues and learn what the Catholic Church teaches. USCCB articles
- Make daily sacrifices or offerings such as fasting or helping a neighbor.
- Take action and write to representatives regarding these matters. USCCB action alerts
Visit the USCCB's webpage, Fortnight4Freedom.org, for additional tools and resources to use at home.
Mary Immaculate, Patroness of the United States of America, pray for us!