Fortnights for Freedom…

The USCCB as well as a group of religious women are suggesting that the fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, be dedicated to a “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 would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. “To all our fellow Catholics, we urge an intensification of your prayers and fasting for a new birth of freedom in our beloved country. We invite you to join us in an urgent prayer for religious liberty.”

Almighty God, Father of all nations,
For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus.
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

 Back in April, a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops highlighted its criticism of budget proposals from House Republicans and Congressman Paul Ryan as failing to protect the poor.  In response, some women religious are beginning their ‘fortnight for freedom’ with a bus tour called “Nuns on the Bus: Nuns Drive for Faith, Family and Fairness”.  Catholic Sisters across the country work every day with people struggling at the economic margins.  The Ryan budget cuts will harm millions of the people they serve.  During their tour through nine states they will highlight the work of Catholic Sisters, visit social service agencies and offices of members of Congress, highlighting their opposition, as well as the U.S. Catholic bishops’ opposition, to the Ryan budget that passed the House.

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