Bishop Bambera Calls on Faithful To Participate in a “Fortnight for Freedom”
Period of Prayer, Education and Action in Support of Religious Freedom June 21st To July 4th
Special Mass of Faith and Freedom at Saint Peter’s Cathedral on July 1st
Dear Friends in Christ,
In their statement on religious freedom: “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty” the Catholic Bishops of the United States outlined their concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. In response, I now join my brother bishops of the United States in calling for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom from June 21st to July 4th.
Beginning on the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More and continuing until Independence Day, which highlights one of our country’s most treasured freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference, bishops in their own dioceses have dedicated this time to signify the importance of defending religious freedom. As such, during this period of time, parishes and Catholic institutions are encouraged to provide prayer opportunities and catechetical resources to the faithful entrusted to their care so that in union with Catholic churches across the United State we will engage in a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty … working together to promote and protect religious freedom in our Country.
There are many opportunities for us to join in an expression of unity on religious freedom here in the Diocese of Scranton. Parishes have been provided with a variety of resources to help achieve this. As parish activities are planned, they will be listed in upcoming editions of The Catholic Light and here on our website.
In addition, please be aware that on Sunday, July 1st, I will celebrate a special Mass of Faith and Freedom at the Cathedral of Saint Peter at 10:00 a.m. The Mass will be televised on CTV. I also encourage all churches in the Diocese of Scranton to ring their church bells at noon on July 4th in support of religious freedom.
Below this letter are links to various resources which provide information on this very important issue, including links to websites that enable you to easily contact your legislators so that you can urge them to protect religious liberty. Finally, you will see a Prayer for Religious Liberty that everyone can recite on a regular basis.
Thank you in advance for joining me in this effort to preserve and defend religious liberty.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
† Joseph C. Bambera
Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.
Bishop of Scranton
Frequently Asked Questions on Religious Liberty
Current Threats to Religious Liberty
Litany for Liberty
Religious Liberty Prayer Cards
St. Thomas More Novena
USCCB website: http://www.usccb.org/index.html
Fortnight for Freedom website: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/
Stand Up for Religious Freedom website: http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com/locations/#cities
Pennsylvania Catholic Conference website: http://www.pacatholic.org
Prayer for Religious Liberty
Almighty God, Father of all nations,
For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).
We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty,
the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good.
Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties;
By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness,
and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with whom you live and reign, one God, forever and ever. Amen.