Dioceses gear up for Fortnight for Freedom,
June 21-July 4
Dioceses nationwide will highlight religious liberty during the Fortnight for Freedom, June 21-July 4.
Nationwide celebrations range from special Masses and Holy Hours for religious liberty to concerts and multi-media presentations, to a Catholic trivia night and distribution of yard signs and car magnets.
In the Diocese of Dodge City, Father Rene Labrador, pastor of St. Dominic Parish in Garden City, formed a committee which planned several nights of rosaries, fasting, and a lunch in a park followed by a rosary.
“When I read the articles from the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), I really felt that we needed to respond,” explained Father Labrador. “We should do something to express our support for religious liberty.”
Bishop John B. Brungardt, and bishops across the nation, are issuing a call for people to use the fortnight as a time for prayer and fasting, education and public action. Check with your local parish for activities in your area.
RALLY for RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
At 2 p.m., June 29 at the State Capitol building in Topeka, the Catholic Bishops of Kansas will host a Rally for Religious Freedom. More than 5,000 people are expected to rally in front of the Capitol’s south steps.
According to a statement from the Kansas Catholic Bishops, “The rally will serve several purposes: It will be a major demonstration of support for religious freedom. It will help raise awareness regarding the attack on religious freedom that, sadly, is taking place in our country. It will build help build a sense of solidarity among all people who care about this issue. It will be an opportunity for people of all faiths to come together, to pray, and to support the preservation of our ‘first freedom,’ which is now in such jeopardy.”
The main speaker will be Cathy Ruse. She has 16 years’ experience in the legal areas of abortion, bioethics, religious liberty, and pornography. Wired magazine has called her “one of the most influential opinion shapers in the country.”
She has made numerous media appearances, including in debate formats such as PBS’ “Firing Line” and CNN’s “Crossfire,” was co-host of the cable show Legal Notebook, and has debated at colleges and law schools across the country.
Please take caution for any kind of weather. The rally is happening rain or shine, court-ordered repeal or not. If rain, participants ought prepare and dress appropriately—maybe bring an umbrella. If shine, participants ought prepare and dress appropriately—maybe sunscreen, sunglasses, a lawn chair, and water. Bottled water is being sponsored.
A LONG-TERM PROPOSITION
Speaking with members of the Catholic Press Association in a conference call June 6, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Freedom, said the campaign is not an attempt to “throw” the presidential election in favor of one candidate or against another.
“We’re not trying to throw an election. We’re simply trying to defend fundamental freedoms. It’s not a Republican or Democratic issue. It’s not a Catholic issue. It’s a freedom issue,” he said.
“Even if we win the HHS lawsuits, the larger cultural issue of preserving religious liberty and the place of religion in our culture is something we’re going to have to engage in for many years to come,” he added. “There’s defending marriage and unborn life. It’s a long-term proposition.”
For additional information, go to www.dcdiocese.org, and click on the Religious Liberty badge.