The Fortnight for Freedom will once again take place from June 21 to July 4, as originally proposed by the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty in their core document, Our First, Our Most Cherished Liberty. The Fortnight for Freedom is a two-week “special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action [that] would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty.” During the Fortnight, 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.
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See photos from 2014 Image Gallery.
Prayers of the Faithful at daily and Sunday Masses
- Suggested Prayers of the Faithful for life, marriage, and religious liberty, both at home and abroad
- En Español: Oraciones de los Fieles por la Vida, el Matrimonio, y la Libertad Religiosa
Recommended activities for parishes
Additional possible activities include:
- All parishes are encouraged to incorporate a prayer for the protection of religious liberty during liturgically appropriate times when Mass is celebrated during the Fortnight for Freedom. Click to see examples of the prayer cards.
- Parishes are encouraged to incorporate the prayer—as appropriate—into already-scheduled meetings, Eucharistic adoration, etc.
- Encourage your parishioners to fast or make an appropriate act of reparation in this period, such as meatless Fridays or a fast day on Wednesdays.
- Hosting/providing talks on religious freedom, sponsoring discussion on the Vatican II document Dignitatis Humanae. Religious Freedom is tied to Evangelization. Find ways for your parish to explore ways to both proclaim and live the Gospel in our world.
- Encouraging your faithful to make a Novena for religious freedom, from June 21 to July 4, inclusive.
- Providing a visible focal point for the faithful to learn more about religious freedom, and redouble their own efforts of prayer and reparation. This can be a place near the entrance to your sanctuary for your parishioners to obtain a prayer card for religious freedom, educational materials on religious freedom, and devotional materials for the Sacred Heart.
- Encouraging parishioners to take action in support of religious freedom using the NCHLA Action Alerts.
- Parishes can encourage and promote reading of the statement Our First, Our Most Cherished Liberty (en español). In addition to promoting it generally among parishioners, parishes may wish to engage existing small communities to read and discuss the document.
- Utilize the Fortnight for Freedom reflections on Dignitatis Humanae for group discussion or for personal reflection. These reflections and readings from the Vatican II document Declaration on Religious Liberty are available in English and Spanish and are intended for daily use during the Fortnight for Freedom.
- Use your bulletin, website, and social media to educate about the Fortnight for Freedom and the need to pray and work for religious freedom. Graphics can be downloaded from the USCCB website. You can also create banners or signs to display on your parish grounds.
- Promote the U.S. bishops' texting campaign through your website and bulletin.
- Additional ideas for parishes from the USCCB.
Additional Prayer Resources
- Sample Holy Hour for Religious Liberty
- Holy Hour for Life and Liberty (Homily Notes for Presider)
- Suggested Prayers of the Faithful
- Litany for Liberty
- Letania para Libertad
Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty
The fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom takes place from June 21—the vigil of the Feast of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day. This year, we are emphasizing bear witness in love to the full truth about the human person through the theme of Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness. All are invited to participate in service opportunities available during the Fortnight for Freedom. Special service opportunities offered by our Catholic parishes, schools and local organizations can be found at www.austindiocese.org/fortnightforfreedom. All are invited to share their service experiences through social media using #free2serve.
Send us information on how your parish is participating in the Fortnight for Freedom in the form of a URL, pdf, Word or Publisher document and we will post them here.