“On his visit to the U.S., Pope Francis encouraged us to nurture, promote and defend the precious gift of religious freedom.  To this end, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has continued to encourage Catholics, other Christians, and all people of good will to set aside two weeks to reflect on religious freedom.”           — Archbishop William E. Lori, Archdiocese of Baltimore


“Witnesses to Freedom” is the theme of the U.S. bishops’ fifth annual Fortnight for Freedom, which opens June 21, the vigil of the feast of SS. Thomas More and John Fisher, and closes on Independence Day, July 4.

The Fortnight for Freedom is “based on love of country and of liberty,” according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The aim is to “encourage Catholics, other Christians and all people of goodwill to set aside two weeks to reflect on religious freedom,”

Catholics for Freedom of Religion and the Diocese of Rockville Centre will welcome Archbishop William Lori as the keynote speaker at a June 27 Rally for Religious Freedom at St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip. The rally will begin at 6:30 p.m. with public rosary in front of the school, followed by speakers at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. Archbishop Lori is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

In addition to the rally on June 27 parishes around the diocese will hold various events to mark the Fortnight for Freedom. Check your local bulletins. Bishop William Murphy will be the principal celebrant of the Fortnight Diocesan Mass at Sunday, June 26,  at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre.

Information about the Fortnight and various resources to help plan local observances are available online at www.Fortnight4Freedom.com.