Fortnight For Freedom
June 21st to July 4th
The Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2015, 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. The theme of this year's Fortnight will focus on the "freedom to bear witness" to the truth of the Gospel.
This is the fourth Fortnight, which was originally instituted by the U.S. Bishops in 2012. The Fortnight for Freedom is a response to the U.S. Bishops’ call to fourteen days of prayer, education, and action for religious freedom in the United States and abroad.
For more information about the Fortnight for Freedom in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, please contact the Respect Life Ministry at (404) 920-7362, or send an Email to RespectLife@archatl.com.
This year’s observance in the Archdiocese of Atlanta will first and foremost be covered in prayer. Following is a listing of Masses, liturgies and other events that are taking place throughout the archdiocese. Please check back often, as additional events are being confirmed. For parish address and directions, please go to this link: http://www.archatl.com/parishes/.
A list of parish-sponsored events is now being compiled. Please check back soon!
Please email your events to the Respect Life Ministry Office
Religious liberty is the first liberty granted to us by God and protected in the First Amendment to our Constitution. It includes more than our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It also encompasses our ability to contribute freely to the common good of all Americans.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights states the following: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Please go to the following links for resources for personal study on the topic of religious liberty.
Speaking at a conference on religious liberty in 2014, Pope Francis said that national and international laws and organizations must "recognize, guarantee and protect religious liberty." The Holy Father also said that religious freedom is "an indicator of a healthy democracy and one of the principal sources of a nation's legitimacy."
Unfortunately, this cherished freedom is under threat in a number of areas, including the HHS mandate for sterilization, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs, Catholic foster care and adoption services losing government contracts because those Charities refused to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples who cohabit. More information about other threats to religious liberty is available.
Individual action is needed on a number of fronts, most especially in the area of conscience rights. Please consider taking the following actions:
- Send Emails to your federal elected officials, asking them to co-sponsor H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act.
- For details, go to: NCHLA Action Center
- Stay up-to-date on current religious freedom issues.
- Sign up for text messages from the USCCB. It's easy. Just text the word "FREEDOM" to 377377.
- Make a commitment to respond to the Catholic Bishops of the United States’ call for a nationwide effort to advance a movement for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty through prayer, penance, and sacrifice.
- For more details, go to: Call To Prayer For Life, Marriage, And Religious Liberty
LEARN MORE ABOUT IT
For details about the Fortnight for Freedom in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, call the Respect Life Ministry at (404) 920-7360, or send an Email to RespectLife@archatl.com. For more information about the United States Bishops’ call for the Fortnight for Freedom, please go to: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/
The United States Bishops have prepared numerous resources to help your parish or community plan for the 2015 Fortnight For Freedom. Please feel free to distribute these materials or provide website links to the following resources.
- 2015 Fortnight For Freedom Logo and graphics for use on your in-house television systems and in your communication materials
- 14-Day Study Guide on Dignitatis Humanae (please note this is the 50th anniversary of the “Declaration on Religious Freedom” from the Second Vatican Council)
- Parish Guide to celebrating the Fortnight (including 14 suggestions)
- Planning a Mass for Religious Liberty
- A series of examples of Current Threats to Religious Liberty in the U.S.
- A series of examples of International Religious Freedom issues
- Why the Religious Freedom Restoration Act Works
- Frequently Asked Questions about Religious Liberty
- Religious Liberty High School Lesson Plans (included as part of the 2015 Catechetical Sunday materials)
- 2015 Catechetical Sunday materials
- Litany for Liberty
- Prayers of the Faithful (part of the Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty) English |
- Holy Hour Template (also part of the Call to Prayer)
- “Religious Liberty and the Practice of Charity” by John Garvey, President of the Catholic University of America
- “ISIS and Indiana: The Global Crisis of Religious Liberty and Catholic Responsibility” by Dr. Thomas Farr of Georgetown University
Almighty God, Father of all nations,
For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).
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, for ever and ever. Amen.
– Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2012