May 17, 2013
My Dear Friends in Christ,
In December, when the bishops announced the Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, they also announced a second Fortnight for Freedom. As last year, the Fortnight will take place from June 21 (the vigil of the feasts of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher) to July 4 (Independence Day).
There are three reasons why this year’s Fortnight is so important:
· First, the Supreme Court’s rulings on marriage redefinition, which could have grave implications for religious freedom, will almost certainly be issued during the Fortnight.
· Second, by the time of the Fortnight, the effective date of the HHS mandate-August 1, 2013 will be scarcely a month away, and the Administration’s decision on the shape of a final rule will likely be imminent. We are still far from receiving the relief we need through the regulatory process. So it will be very important to keep the public pressure on.
· Third, the success of a second Fortnight is essential to perpetuating a new movement for life, marriage and religious liberty, highlighting the full range of ongoing religious freedom issues, here and abroad, and in so many other areas of law, such as immigration, adoption, and disaster relief. Similarly, it is important to show that it is not tied to any election year, but to the broader principle of religious freedom.
During the fortnight, I ask you to call on your parishioners and other constituents to join me in prayer for religious freedom. As we all know, prayer can be very powerful and every day during the fourteen day fortnight, I am asking that in every parish, during every Mass, a special Prayer of the Faithful be said. You are also encouraged to sponsor adoration, special devotions and catechetical sessions as part of this national religious liberty campaign.
Attached you will find suggested prayers that you may wish to use during the fortnight. Additional resources are available on the HHS Mandate page of the diocesan website (www.buffalodiocese.org) and USCCB Fortnight resources are available at www.Fortnight4Freedom.org.
I will begin the Fortnight of Prayer on Saturday, June 22 at 8:00 a.m. Mass at St. Rose of Lima Church, corner of Parkside and Parker Avenues, Buffalo, where I will be celebrating the Rosary Novena for Life Mass and then later that same day at 4:30 p.m. Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral. Both of these Masses are open for anyone in the Diocese who would like to come and pray with me for the intentions of the Fortnight.
The Fortnight of Prayer will conclude on Wednesday, July 3 at 3:00 pm with a Holy Hour and Benediction at the Dominican Monastery. Bishop Grosz will preside at this celebration.
Catholics in the
have long advocated
for religious liberty, and it is our solemn duty to continue those efforts
today. Please join me and our fellow
Catholics as we pray for a new birth of freedom in this great land! United States
Be assured of my grateful prayers and best wishes,
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard J. Malone
Bishop of Buffalo