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In an effort to provide those who visit this site with up-to-date information regarding  events or stories of interest happening within the diocese, the Secretariat for Communications researches and prepares articles and news releases. 

Access to the most recent news is available under "News Headlines" on the home page.  Copies of old stories are available by accessing the Archives at the end of the News and Press Release section.

Fortnight for Freedom

06/21/2013

fortnight_4_freedom_logo.jpgIn April of 2012, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document titled, “Our First, Most Cherished Freedom,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom. That call has been renewed for 2013. For this two-week period, beginning June 21 on the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, and ending on July 4, Independence Day, Catholics across the United States will join in prayer and various opportunities to take action to ensure the integrity of this most cherished freedom.

“As we approach this year’s Fortnight for Freedom, we continue to face many challenges to our religious liberty,” declared Bishop Hebda. “The Health and Human Services Mandate is set to go into effect on August 1, and we have yet to reach an acceptable agreement with the Administration that allows Catholics and others of faith to abide by the law without violating their conscience and their religious moral values. I am asking every Pastor and parishioner to spend time during the Fortnight educating themselves about the issues and praying that the very freedoms upon which our nation was founded are upheld,” the Bishop added.

The Vatican News Service reported that religious freedom was among the topics which Pope Francis touched upon during his meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on June 8. The Holy Father noted that 2013 marks 1,700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, a document promoting freedom of worship to all people within the Roman Empire and assuring Christians of legal rights. “In today’s world, religious freedom is more often affirmed than put into practice”, the Holy Father said, adding “It’s the duty of everyone to defend religious freedom and promote it for all people.”

In their statement on religious liberty, the U.S. bishops wrote, “To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory and should instead by complementary. That is the teaching of our Catholic faith, which obliges us to work together with fellow citizens for the common good of all who live in this land.”

To open the Fortnight for Freedom in the Diocese of Gaylord, Bishop Bernard A. Hebda celebrated a special Mass on Friday, June 21 at St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord.  A list of upcoming events taking place in parishesduring the Fortnight may be found below. New events will be added as they are received.

You may also click on the Religious Liberty link on the left side of this page to find resources designed for personal and family prayer, study and reflection which may be downloaded for free. 

Catholics may also take action by expressing their views to their representatives and senators as well as by signing up for legislative alerts through the Catholic Advocacy Network of the Michigan Catholic Conference and the Legislative Action Center of the USCCB.

To get regular updates from the Diocese of Gaylord, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Events Taking Place in Our Parishes During the Fortnight for Freedom

ST. MARY CATHEDRAL, GAYLORD
Friday, June 28
11:00-12:00 noon Prayerful demonstration on the Courthouse Lawn downtown Gaylord

Thursday, July 4
9:00 a.m. Mass at St. Mary Cathedral
11:00-12:00 noon Prayerful demonstration on the Courthouse Lawn downtown Gaylord

Saturday and Sunday, July 7 and 8
After all Masses at St. Mary Cathedral - "No Taxes for Abortion Insurance" Petition Drive

BOYNE VALLEY CATHOLIC COMMUNITY
(All events are being held at St. Augustine in Boyne Falls)
Wednesday, July 3
8:00 am   Mass ( Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle)
8:30 am   Exposition of the Holy Eucharist until Noon
9:00 am   Prayer of St. Thomas Moore - Patron of Religious Freedom
10:00 am Litany for Liberty
11:00 am Suggested readings and intercessory prayer
Noon        Benediction and Close of Adoration
The church will remain open until 6:00 pm for prayer

ST. MARY, CHARLEVOIX
Tuesday, July 2
7:00 p.m. Seminarian Rob Pahlkotter will speak on religious freedom, our most cherished liberty,

Daily during the Fortnight
Rosary Offered for Our Country

ST. HUBERT, HIGGINS LAKE & ST. JAMES, HOUGHTON LAKE
The movies "A Man for All Seasons" and "For Greater Glory" will be shown. Please contact the parish office for more information. (989.821.5591)

ST. PAUL, ONAWAY
Saturday, July 6
3:30 p.m. Adoration with Exposition/Benediction followed by Mass

Sunday, July 7
9:30 a.m. Adoration with Exposition/Benediction followed by Mass

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