The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is unveiling its planned activities for the two week campaign scheduled to begin on June 21 and end on Independence Day. The campaign will kick off in the nation’s oldest Catholic diocese at Baltimore’s historic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore will celebrate the liturgy at 6:00 p.m. CDT.
The closing liturgy will be held on July 4 in the nation’s capital at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington at 12:10 p.m. EDT. The Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington and the homilist will be Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. EWTN will carry the Shrine Mass live.
In addition to these activities, the bishops have launched a special website, www.fortnight4freedom.org
where people can stay abreast of the activities as well as educate themselves on the critical role of religious liberty in American society.
Parishes are being encouraged to arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom, and to do so in cooperation with other Christians, Jews, and people of other faiths who also wish to defend our most cherished freedom. The object is to make the two week program into a “great hymn of prayer” for our nation.
The USCCB is also requesting that wherever possible, parishes ring the bells of their churches at noon on the fourth of July to remind citizens nationwide of the primary place of religious freedom in the history, law, and culture of the United States.