Wednesday, June 13, 2012

US Bishops launch Fortnight for Freedom

The Bishops of the US are promoting two weeks of prayer for religious liberty beginning on the eve of the feast of Ss Thomas More and John Fisher and concluding on Independence Day.
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 will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.
The Diocese of Marqette has a webpage with resources and information and the following events will take place at St Peter Cathedral: 
  • June 21st: Viewing of "A Man for All Seasons", the acclaimed movie about the trial of St Thomas More for refusing to accept the King's authority over the Church.
  • June 27th: Claves Regni Ministries presents a discussion panel on religious freedom with the following program:
    5:15pm Mass celebrated by Bishop Sample
    6:00pm Discussion Panel made up of Bishop Sample, various clergy and lay legal and medical representatives focussing on how to be faithful to Church teaching in civil life. Light supper provided.
  • July 4th: St Peter Cathedral sponsoring an entry in the Marquette 4th of July parade celebrating themes of life, liberty, religious freedom. Participants/marchers sought.

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.

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