" ... 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."
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.
Opening Mass—June 21 in Baltimore, MD
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption
Celebrant: Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore
Closing Mass—July 4 in Washington, DC
Time: 12:10 p.m.
Location: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Celebrant: His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
Homilist: Most Reverend Charles Chaput, OFM Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia
Nationwide Telecast: EWTN cable network. Check your local listings.
Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty
O God our Creator,
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 Gospelto every corner of society.
We ask you to bless usin our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.Give us the strength of mind and heartto readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;give us courage in making our voices heardon behalf of the rights of your Churchand 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 daughtersgathered in your Churchin this decisive hour in the history of our nation,so that, with every trial withstoodand 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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