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F O R T N I G H T   F O R   F R E E D O M
In the Albany Diocese

The Bishops of the United States have called for a third annual “Fortnight for Freedom”, a two-week period of prayer, study and action to address many current challenges to religious liberty both here and abroad. This year the Fortnight for Freedom will take place from June 21 – July 4, 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, Sts. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.

The theme of this year’s Fortnight – “Freedom to Serve” – will focus on the freedom to serve the poor and vulnerable in accord with human dignity and the Church’s teaching. The USCCB has a special website, www.fortnight4freedom.org, with a wide range of resources supporting this effort.



Date & Time






Sat/Sun, June 21 & 22

Our Lady of Hope Church, Whitehall
St. Ann’s, Fort Ann

Corpus Christi Eucharistic Procession following their Sunday masses bringing Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament into the public eye.

Wed, June 25, 7-8pm

St. Ambrose Church, Latham

Holy Hour for Fortnight for Freedom

Sat, June 28, 7pm

Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine, Auriesville

Holy Hour for Religious Liberty & Freedom with Bishop Edward Scharfenberger.

Sun, June 29, after 8am & 11am Masses Immaculate Conception Church, Glenville Rosary for Religious Freedom will be prayed after both Sunday Masses.
Sun, June 29, 3pm Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Amsterdam

Exposition of the Eucharist, Patriotic Rosary and Benediction.

Mon, June 30, 7pm St. Jude the Apostle Church, Wynantskill A Mass of Freedom in honor of the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, recognizing that the challenges they faced are the same ones we face today.
Fri, July 4, after 9am Mass St. Madeleine Sophie Church, Guilderland Patriotic Rosary after 9am Mass on Independence Day; join in prayer and in singing our national patriotic songs.

If your parish or group is planning a Fortnight related event or program here in the Albany Diocese, please let Steve Mawn at the OECFL and Kate Blain at the Evangelist know about it.

In addition to these events, various parishes will be distributing information about the Fortnight for Freedom and the issues it raises in their parish bulletin or by other means before and during the two week period. Numerous parishes may also be including one of the prayers provided by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops as part of their masses from June 21 – July 4.

At the national level there will be special masses for both the opening and closing of the Fortnight for Freedom, both of which will be televised by EWTN.

Sat, June 21 5:30pm

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of Mary in Baltimore, MD

National Fortnight for Freedom opening mass to be celebrated by Archbishop William Lori.

Fri, July 4 at 12 noon

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC

National Fortnight for Freedom closing mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC with USCCB President Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville as the homilist.



Learning about the issues

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops have prepared a series of one page “fact sheets” on domestic and international threats to religious liberty:

Domestic Threats to Religious Liberty
Current threats to Religious Liberty
Why we need a Health Care Conscience Rights Act
Marriage and Religious Freedom
Discrimination against Catholic Adoption Services
Discrimination against Catholic Humanitarian Services
Discrimination against Christian Students on Campus
Discrimination against small Church congregations
Providing Pastoral Care to Immigrants

International Threats to Religious Liberty
Historic Christian Communities under siege in Syria
Competition for Resources Fuels Religious Conflict in Myanmar
Boko Haram Ramps up Violence in Nigeria
Honoring Commitments to Protect Religious Minority Rights in Pakistan

The Bishops’ Conference has also prepared a set of Frequently Asked Questions on the topic of Religious Liberty as well as a series of reflections and readings from the Vatican II document “Declaration on Religious Liberty” (Dignitatis Humanae) which are intended for daily use during the Fortnight for Freedom. The readings and questions can be used for group discussion or for personal reflection.

Prayer Resources

While some parishes may opt to add a special prayer service, holy hour or other event to commemorate the Fortnight for Freedom, parish-wide participation can also include the use of a special Fortnight for Freedom prayer or intercessory petition(s) during the prayer of the faithful at regularly scheduled masses during the two week period. The USCCB has created several prayer and liturgy resources including:

Along with prayer cards.

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