Starting June 21, our Catholic diocese observes the annual Fortnight for Freedom, a national campaign by the U.S. Catholic bishops for teaching about religious liberty, which begins on the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fischer and St. Thomas More, patron of religious freedom, and runs through July 4.
This year the church draws attention to the lives of the following women and men of faith, from all over the world, who bear witness to authentic freedom in Christ:
Little Sisters of the Poor
St. John the Baptist
Venerable Henriette Delille
Blessed Oscar Romero
Martyrs of Compiègne
Father John Bapst, SJ
Saints Peter and Paul
Saints Felicity and Perpetua
Blessed Miguel Pro
St. Maximilian Kolbe
St. Edith Stein
St. Kateri Tekakwitha
Prayer for Religious Freedom
O GOD OUR CREATOR, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society. We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.