Bishop Barbarito begins the Fortnight as celebrant of a Noon Mass on
The USCCB will celebrate the Fortnight with special televised national Masses on
June 21 & July 4.
“Fortnight for Freedom” to be Observed in all Catholic Dioceses
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has called for a second Fortnight for Freedom that begins on June 21, the vigil of the Feasts of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, and ends with Independence Day on July 4. The first Fortnight took place during the same dates last year as an effort to educate the public about religious liberty, both at home and abroad. Recognizing that we still face threats to religious liberty, the U.S. Bishops are promoting Fortnight for Freedom 2013, designed to be a two-week time period of prayer and reflection upon the freedom of religion which we possess in our great nation.
As we observe Fortnight for Freedom this year, we still face many challenges to religious liberty including:
Through prayer, study, and public action during the Fortnight for Freedom, the U.S. Bishops believe together we will promote the importance of preserving the fundamental right of religious freedom, for now and the future, for Catholics and for those of all faiths.
In the Diocese of Palm Beach
In the Diocese of Palm Beach, Bishop Barbarito is asking all Catholics to offer their prayers of thanksgiving for our nation and our religious liberty. In his June 21 column Living the Truth in Love: St. Thomas More and Fortnight for Freedom, Bishop discusses St. Thomas More and how he lived his life with faith and love of Christ and His Church. Bishop Barbarito also reminds us of the importance of our fundamental freedom.
“We are not truly free unless we are free to express our religious beliefs and to bring them to the public forum. Anything which in any way limits this freedom is a threat to our birthright as American citizens. Our ability to express our moral beliefs and to have them reflected in the laws of our land includes such critical matters: as the right to life, as denied by legal abortion; the government's intrusion of mandating practices against our convictions, as in the case of the HHS mandate; the government’s intrusion into the definition of marriage as anything but a union between a man and woman; and the protection of the dignity of migrants who come to this country with a right to equitable immigration laws.”
~ Bishop Gerald Babarito
Additionally, Bishop Barbarito suggests ways in which we can offer our prayers.
"The celebration of Mass, time in Eucharistic adoration, praying the rosary and other practices and devotions are encouraged during this time to foster the preservation of our religious freedom. We should also consider offering the Fridays during the Fortnight for Freedom as days of penance by abstaining from meat or taking part in another form of penance. We can also study and reflect upon our religious freedom and the threats posed to it by reading the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops statement, Our First Most Cherished Liberty*.”
~ Bishop Gerald Babarito
*To read Our First, Most Cherished Liberty, please scroll down to the Study section of this page.
To read Bishop Barbarito's full message and teaching in Living the Truth in Love: St. Thomas More and Fortnight for Freedom, please click here.
Events in the Diocese of Palm Beach
For a list of other Fortnight for Freedom special events, please visit our website Events Calendar.
Observing the Fortnight for Freedom through Prayer, Study, and Public Action
Through PRAYER, STUDY AND PUBLIC ACTION during the Fortnight for Freedom, we will promote the importance of preserving the fundamental right of religious freedom, for now and the future, for Catholics and for those of all faiths.
The following prayers may be used in solidarity with the bishops' call to penance and prayer to restore religious freedom & conscience protections.
Please note: No special permissions are required to use these prayers, so long as no modification is made and proper attribution is given as noted on the resources.
For additional Prayer Sources, including six prayer cards, Holy Hour Template and Parish Resources, please click here.
Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty
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
Current Threats to Religious Liberty
Marriage and Religious Freedom
Providing Pastoral Care to Immigrants
Discrimination Against Catholic Humanitarian Services
For other suggested Action Steps, click here.
Special National Masses Planned for Fortnight for Freedom
A Mass to open the Fortnight for Freedom will be offered on Thursday, 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 Lori of Baltimore and Chairman of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. Similarly, a Mass to close the Fortnight will be offered on Wednesday, July 4 at Noon (12:00 p.m.) at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C, celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington.
The Mass will be televised nationwide on the EWTN cable network. Check your local listings and the ETWN Channel Find web page.
View EWTN's upcoming television specials. This page lists information on the above special Masses, a special on St. Thomas More and programming you likely will not want to miss!
For more information on Fortnight for Freedom, please visit the USCCB website at www.Fortnight4freedom.org