Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pope Francis' Journey to the USA September 2015

Here is the schedule for Pope Francis' September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015.  All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.

          4:00 p.m.    Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews

          9:15  a.m.  Meeting with President Obama at the White House
          11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew's Cathedral
          4:15  p.m.  Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilicia of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

          9:20  a.m.  Address to Joint Session of the United States Congress
          11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
          4:00 p.m.   Depart from Joint Base Andrews
          5:00 p.m.   Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
          6:45 p.m.   Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick's Cathedral

          8:30  a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
          11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
          4:00  p.m.  Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
          6:00  p.m.  Mass at Madison Square Garden

          8:40  a.m.  Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
          9:30  a.m.  Arrival at Atlantic Aviation, Philadelphia
          10:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia
          4:45  p.m.  Visit to Independence Mall
          7:30  p.m.  Visit to the Festival of Families Benjamin Franklin Parkway

          9:15   a.m.  Meeting with bishops at at St. Martin's Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
          11:00  a.m. Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
          4:00  p.m.   Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway 
          7:00   p.m.  Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation 
          8:00   p.m.  Departure for Rome

Friday, June 19, 2015

Forthnight for Freedom 2015 preparations

In preparation for the Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness, which will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2015, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ staff has once again prepared materials that you may use to celebrate the Fortnight. This year’s theme emphasizes the link between religious freedom and bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel, keeping in mind the sacrifice of so many martyrs for the faith, both past and present.

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. In the secular calendar, we anticipate that the U.S. Supreme Court will rule at some point during the Fortnight (likely around June 29) on four cases concerning the legal definition of marriage in the United States.


The materials below are publicly available (in English and Spanish) through the website www.Fortnight4Freedom.org, so please feel free to distribute widely or provide website links:

1. 14-Day Study Guide on Dignitatis Humanae (note that this is the 50th anniversary of the “Declaration on Religious Freedom” from the Second Vatican Council)

2. Parish Guide to celebrating the Fortnight (including 14 suggestions)

4. A series of examples of International Religious Freedom issues

9Prayers of the Faithful (part of the Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage & Religious Liberty)

10. Holy Hour Template (also part of the Call to Prayer)

Social media can also be an effective tool during the Fortnight; I would encourage you to use all  communications tools that you have access to in order to effectively spread the message in support of religious freedom.