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WASHINGTON—Catholic dioceses across the United States are celebrating Masses, prayer services, marches and other events to mark the close of the Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week celebration of religious liberty focused on how faith enriches public life. The Fortnight began June 21, the vigil of the feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, and ends July 4, Independence Day.
On July 4, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington will celebrate the closing Mass of the Fortnight at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. Other dioceses holding Fortnight Masses on July 4 include Cleveland, Ohio; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Gary, Indiana; Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana; Lexington, Kentucky; Kansas City, Kansas; Madison, Wisconsin; Milwaukee; Owensboro, Kentucky; Phoenix, Arizona; Pittsburgh; Duluth, Minnesota; and St. Louis. Other dioceses holding closing Fortnight Masses on dates other than July 4 include Alexandria, Louisiana (July 5); Raleigh, North Carolina (July 5); and Des Moines, Iowa (July 7).
"Participation in the second Fortnight for Freedom has been an encouraging sign that Catholics take seriously their responsibility to participate in civic life and that we must all witness to the positive role faith plays in our society," said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.
Many dioceses around the country are planning or have already held religious freedom rallies, marches, and parades to celebrate the Fortnight. Ecumenical and interfaith prayer services have been held in many places around the country, including Arlington, Virginia; San Antonio, Texas; San Diego, California; and Greensburg and Scranton, Pennsylvania. On July 4, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City will wrap up services outlined in a 14-day devotional book, the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida will complete its daily rosary for religious freedom, and numerous other dioceses will observe holy hours for religious freedom and diocesan-wide bell ringing in the final days of the Fortnight. Over 120 U.S. dioceses participated in Fortnight for Freedom activities this year.
Keywords: Fortnight for Freedom, diocesan activities, Mass, holy hour, rosary, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
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