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The Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Serve will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2014, a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.

During this time let us pray for the protection of our religious freedom and conscience rights from several threats—the HHS mandate, legalized abortion, the main-streaming of homosexuality, abusive treatment of immigrants, women, children, and minorities, and affronts to the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.

This God-given freedom of conscience is referred to in Gaudium et Spes, 16: “Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. His dignity lies in observing this law, and by it he will be judged. . . . Through loyalty to con-science Christians are joined to others in the search for truth and for the right solution to so many moral problems.”

We are American, and we are grateful for protection of our freedom of religion. We can never take that freedom for granted nor let it in any way be jeopardized. We stand grateful yet vigilant in prayer during the Fortnight for Freedom and always.

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

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