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Fortnight For Freedom

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Published on May 28, 2012

Music is copyrighted to Nintendo. Donkey Kong Country, Mine Cart Madness theme.

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty," outlining the bishops' concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a "Fortnight for Freedom," a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to defend our most cherished freedom.

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this "fortnight for freedom"—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Special Masses

June 21 Mass in Baltimore, MD
A Mass will be offered on June 21 at 7 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, Maryland, celebrated by Archbishop William E. Lori of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, to open the Fortnight for Freedom.

July 4 Mass in Washington, DC (nationally televised)
A Mass will be offered on July 4 at 12:10 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington and homilist Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Mass will be televised nationwide on the EWTN cable network. Check your local listings.

Diocese Activities

Archbishop José H. Gomez will celebrate the 10 am Mass on Sunday, June 24 at the Cathedral of Our Lady the Angels in observance of the Fortnight for Freedom. All are invited to attend this Mass, which is part of our archdiocese's effort along with the Catholic Church across the U.S. to promote and protect religious freedom in our country.

Educational resources and more can be found at fortnight4freedom.org

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