Skip to comments.Fortnight for Freedom 2013 (June 21 to July 4)
Posted on 06/19/2013 6:22:54 AM PDT by NYer
Fortnight for Freedom 2013 is around the corner!
The Fortnight, which begins June 21 and ends July 4 is a call for both prayer and activity on behalf of our first American Freedom — Freedom of Religion.
From the USCCB website:
The Fortnight for Freedom, which we celebrated for the first time last year, takes place from June 21the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas Moreto July 4, Independence Day. Last year, we saw a great diversity of events promoting religious freedom across the country. In 2013, we face many challenges to religious liberty, including the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate; potential Supreme Court rulings that could redefine marriage in June, causing serious religious liberty issues for Catholic adoption agencies and many others; and religious liberty concerns in other areas, such as immigration and humanitarian services.
During the Fortnight, our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political powerSt. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, St. John Fisher, and St. Thomas More.Through prayer, study, and peaceful public action during the Fortnight for Freedom, we hope to remind ourselves and others all throughout the United States about the importance of preserving the fundamental right of religious freedom.
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Archbishop Lori Discusses Fortnight for Freedom 2013 - YouTube Video
Let’s pray for our nation and pray that America turns to God soon. There will certainly be some very difficult days ahead for America. The “Statists” have made sure that we will suffer dearly because of their programs and policies. And they’re far from done.
Thanks for this reminder!
PRAYER FOR OUR COUNTRY
O my Jesus, You said, “verily I say to you, whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it to you.” Behold, in your name I humbly ask our Heavenly Father to protect every man, woman, and child in our great nation from those who want to delete your name from our society, i.e. on our money, in our courts, and in our schools. Protect us from plans of destruction from which our enemies have plotted.
You, Heavenly Father, are the real foundation of our nation. I thank you for making me a citizen of this land of freedom and unlimited opportunity...which are the results of its Christian base.
Please surround and protect us, and our military with Your love and mercy...in Jesus’ name.
We should be free to preach the gospel, we should be free to help the poor in Christ’s name, we should be free to heal the sick in Christ’s name, we should be free to educate in Christ’s name, and now we are being told for the first time that the government has the right to tell us that our ministries are now public services without religious reference It’s chilling and difficult for me to live with that my own government is now saying that what you thought you could do, namely exercise your religion freely as you define it, now depends upon how we define what you do. This isn’t just the bishops, we have Catholic University, Notre Dame University, and many others who are saying “You are robbing of us of our identity as Catholics.”
Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago
June 20, 2013Fortnight For Freedom
Standing in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty is one of our most beloved landmarks, both as New Yorkers and as Americans. So many of our ancestors fondly recalled seeing Lady Liberty, their first vision of a new homeland. Many of them told the story of seeing her for the first time, and not a few of them had to pause in retelling it because of a lump in their throat or a tear in their eye.
Even those of us who were born in America cherish the Statue of Liberty, and, even more importantly, what it stands for. Who indeed can fail to be moved by the line from Emma Lazarus famous poem:
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
That atmosphere of liberty is so much a part of the American experience and heritage. Of course, most of us did not have to travel far and suffer hardship to glimpse the torch of the Statue, and to embrace her promise of freedom. Most newcomers today do not come by ship, and so never set eyes upon her. We New Yorkers, frequently in a rush to our next destination, dont even look out into the Harbor very often.
So it would be easy for us to take the Statue of Liberty for granted, as just another landmark for tourists to visit. And it would be all too easy to forget how precious and fragile is that breath of freedom that our forerunners yearned for so ardently. This desire for freedom was written into the human heart by God, and exalted in Gods word in the Bible. It is expressed so powerfully in the founding documents of our nation, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It is the ideal to which all our national institutions aspire, and which they are bound to protect and respect. It is for freedom that so many of our brothers and sisters have been willing to sacrifice their lives to defend.
I dont wish to push this analogy too far, but in recent years it has become a bit more difficult to breathe free as deeply as we would like. The atmosphere is not quite so clear and mild any more. Our liberty like clean air isnt something we can take for granted.
This is the reason that the Bishops of the United States have called upon all Catholics, and all people of good will, to spend the days from June 21 through July 4 as a Fortnight for Freedom. These fourteen days are designed to raise awareness and to encourage action on a number of the current challenges to religious liberty. These include:
The HHS mandate, which presumes to intrude upon the very definition of faith and ministry, and could cause believers to violate their consciences.
Impending Supreme Court rulings that could redefine marriage, which will present a host of difficulties to institutions and people who stand on their faith-based understanding of authentic marriage as between one man and one woman
Proposed legislation at the national and state levels that would expand abortion rights, legalize assisted suicide, restrict immigrants from full participation in society, and limit the ability of Church agencies to provide humanitarian services.
Government intrusion into the rights and duties of parents regarding their children.
Overt persecution of believers in many countries of the world.
My brother bishops and I are encouraging people to offer prayers to God, the source of our freedom, that we may fully enjoy the liberty that was sought by those who came to our shores. We are also urging practical action to defend our freedom.
Our two weeks begin tomorrow, June 21, and include moving feasts, such as June 22, the feast of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher, both martyrs in England as they prophetically defended the rights of the Church against intrusion by the crown; June 24, the Birth of Saint John the Baptist, the one who defended Gods law to a tyrant and lost his head because of his courage; and, of course, Independence Day.
We must never forget the power of the American promise, which was passed on to us by our ancestors, and which we hold in trust for generations to come.
And, like Lady Liberty, may we always be proud to lift high the torch of freedom and hope to those who yearn for it today.