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Dioceses Gear Up For Fortnight For Freedom, June 21-July 4

June 11, 2012

WASHINGTON—Dioceses nationwide will highlight religious liberty during the Fortnight for Freedom, June 21-July 4.

The Fortnight celebration opens with a June 21 Mass at 7 p.m. at Baltimore’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore. A closing Mass will be celebrated July 4, in Washington, at 12:10 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington will celebrate the Mass, and Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap. of Philadelphia, will be homilist.The Mass will be televised nationwide on the EWTN cable network.

A list of diocesan activities can be found at

Celebrations range from special Masses and Holy Hours for religious liberty to concerts and multi-media presentations, to a Catholic trivia night and distribution of yard signs and car magnets.

The Archdiocese of Washington plans a “prayerful celebration of freedom,” June 24 at 4 p.m. at George Washington University’s Smith Center, where Cardinal Wuerl will host over 4,000 attendees at a music and video program tracing the history of religious liberty and celebrating the Catholic experience. More information can be found at

The Washington Archdiocese also will host a “Be the Conscience!” music festival for young adults featuring Catholic artists on June 23, at 6 p.m. at Fridays Creek Winery, Owings, Maryland. The archdiocese also will provide 10,000 religious liberty car magnets and plans an “I Am Free Because” Twitter campaign. In another effort, the archdiocese has encouraged parishioners to pray a short prayer for religious freedom (“Minute to Win It!”) each day at 3 p.m., May 23, just before Pentecost, to November 25, the feast of Christ the King.

A Catholic Trivia Night, on June 25, 7:30 p.m., at Pat Troy’s in Old Town in Alexandria will be part of the Diocese of Arlington event. Participants are invited to come in teams or solo but to leave their catechisms home.

In Kansas, the Catholic Bishops have organized a statewide rally for religious freedom, June 29, at 2 p.m. at the State Capitol Building in Topeka. In Wichita, Kansas, Bishop Michael Jackels will lead a rally at the U.S. Courthouse in Wichita on the evening of June 21.

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City will host an Ecumenical Rally on Religious Freedom, June 23, at 1 p.m., at the Cox Convention Center. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will host a Religious Liberty Conference, June 23-24, at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

In the Diocese of Rochester, New York, St. Mary’s Parish in Canandaigua, New York, will host a 14-day Festival for Freedom. Speakers will include Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast;Father Peter Stravinskas, founder of “The Catholic Response Magazine” and “The Catholic Answer”; Loretta Fleming of the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment; Kathleen Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference and director of the Catholic Action Network; Kyle Duncan, General Counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; and Jonathan Tobin, senior online editor of Commentary magazine.

Several dioceses plan town hall meetings, including the Archdiocese of Boston, June 25, 8 p.m. with Cardinal Sean O’Malley; Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, June 27, 7 p.m. with Bishop Frederick Campbell, Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, June 19, 9 a.m.; Diocese of Dallas, Texas, June 22 at 8:30 a.m. (English), June 24 (Spanish), and June 30 (English); Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky, June 25 at 6:30 p.m., with a prayer service and sharing on state immigration laws, and June 27, at 6:30 p.m., on Catholic foster care and adoption services; and the Diocese of Portland, Maine, June 23 at 7 p.m.

The Diocese of Dallas also will celebrate a Fortnight Mass in Spanish on June 24 at 2:30 p.m., followed by an educational program in Spanish.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis already has launched a six-month campaign for religious liberty, from May 27, the feast of Pentecost, to November 25. Archbishop Robert Carlson will recite a prayer for religious liberty on Covenant Radio every day at 3 p.m. Archbishop Carlson also is encouraging fasting on Fridays for the protection of religious liberty.

The Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina, will have a Eucharistic Procession on June 23 at 9 a.m. led by Bishop Robert Guglielmone. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati will provide one thousand “Preserve Religious Freedom” yard signs.


Keywords:Fortnight4Freedom, Fortnight For Freedom, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Archbishop William Lori, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop Charles Chaput, holy hours, Mass, Pentecost, Archbishop Robert Carlson, Bishop Frederick Campbell, Covenant Radio, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Bishop Michael Jackels

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Sr. Mary Ann Walsh
O: 202-541-3200
M: 301-325-7935



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