The Fortnight for Freedom closing Mass will be live on EWTN from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on July 4 at 12:10 p.m. with celebrant Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, and homilist Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the USCCB.
O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
The U.S. bishops have called for a Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer and action, to address many current challenges to religious liberty. The Fortnight for Freedom will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2014, a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power. The theme of this year's Fortnight, Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Serve, will focus on the freedom to serve the poor and vulnerable in accord with human dignity and the Church's teaching.
We encourage prayer in solidarity with the bishops' call to penance and prayer to restore religious freedom & conscience protections.
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