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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 Bear Witness” – will focus on the freedom to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel. The USCCB has a special website, www.fortnight4freedom.org, with a wide range of resources supporting this effort.


Date & Time



Sun, June 28
after 8 & 11a Masses

Immaculate Conception Church, Glenville

Patriotic Rosary

Sun, June 28
St. Edward the Confessor Church, Clifton Park Diocesan Holy Hour for Religious Liberty & Freedom with Bishop Scharfenberger
Mon, June 29
Corpus Christi Parish, Round Lake Patriotic Rosary

Wed, July 1

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Worship Site, Amsterdam Exposition of the Eucharist with Patriotic Rosary
Sat, July 4
After 9am Mass
St. Madeleine Sophie Church, Schenectady Patriotic Rosary

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.

Sun, June 21 10:45am

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.

Sat, 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 Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, FL 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

The Right to Practice Faith in Daily Life  |  en Español
Why We Need a Health Care Conscience Rights Act   |  en Español
Marriage and Religious Freedom  |  en Español
Discrimination Against Catholic Adoption Services   |  en Español
Discrimination Against Catholic Humanitarian Services   |  en Español
Discrimination Against Christian Students on Campus   |    en Español
Discrimination Against Small Church Congregations   |  en Español
Providing Pastoral Care to Immigrants    |   en Español

International Threats to Religious Liberty

Cradle of Christianity: Last Christians in the Middle East?en Español
India: Secularism Under Siege  |  en Español
Mexico: Minority Rights Threatened  |  en Español
Myanmar: Reforms Neededen Español
Nigeria: Boko Haram Adopts Strategy Similar to ISIS  |  en Español
Pakistan: Protecting Minority Rights  |  en Español
The Church and the Global Crisis of Religious Liberty — Thomas F. Farr, June 13, 2012

Prayer/Liturgy 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:

Litany for Liberty
Holy Hour Template
Prayers of the Faithful petitions


Other Resources

The Bishops’ Conference has also prepared a set of Frequently Asked Questions on the topic of Religious Liberty as well as a collection of quotes from the Holy Father on religious freedom. Their website also includes an extensive collection of lesson plans on religious freedom and liberty.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II document Declaration on Religious Liberty (Dignitatis Humanae, Of Human Dignity). The Bishops’ Conference has prepared a series of reflections and articles that are intended for daily use during the Fortnight for Freedom, and the readings and the questions can be used for group discussion or for personal reflection. Click here to check them out.

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