6/13/12 | 892 views
New Yorkers to Join National Rally for Religious Freedom
Catholics across the archdiocese are in for an affirming 14 days.
A screening of the acclaimed film “A Man for All Seasons”; solemn liturgies that honor ardent defenders of the Catholic faith such as Saints John Fisher and Thomas More; a freedom rally; a discussion detailing how traditional families can defend against disreputable current political events and, for all ages, festive Fourth of July Masses are among the activities in store for New York during the archdiocese’s celebration of the nationwide “Fortnight for Freedom,” a national period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action proclaimed by the U.S. bishops from June 21 to July 4.
Cardinal Dolan will kick off the celebration with a 7 a.m. Mass Friday, June 22, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The liturgy will be televised at 10 a.m. the same day on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
Additionally, parishes across the archdiocese have been asked to conduct a Holy Hour for religious freedom during the fortnight, recite a prayer for religious liberty after all weekday and weekend Masses throughout the fortnight and to ring the church bells at noon July 4 in defense of religious liberty.
Information on local celebrations of Fortnight for Freedom may be accessed through the archdiocesan website at www.archny.org/news-events/freedom.
Also in Manhattan, the Young Adults of St. Patrick’s Cathedral will host a Holy Hour from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Lady Chapel Friday, June 22, and Thursday, June 28.
Mass will be celebrated at noon Wednesday, July 4, in the Main Cathedral.
The Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral will celebrate Mass at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, in the lower church chapel across from 263 Mulberry St. in honor of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More. A presentation about religious freedom issues, as well as a discussion and action steps, will follow.
Holy Family Church, located at 315 E. 47 St. in Manhattan, will host a Holy Hour from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, June 29. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.
St. Jean Baptiste parish, 184 E. 76 St. at Lexington Avenue, will host a Holy Hour Tuesday, June 26, after the 5:30 p.m. Mass.
On Staten Island, Our Lady of Pity parish will host a Holy Hour at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28.
In Dutchess County, Mass will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at St. Christopher’s Church in Red Hook. Evening prayer with Rosary and a litany to St. Thomas More are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 22. A Holy Hour will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 29. Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 4.
St. Denis parish, Hopewell Junction, will hold Holy Hours from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 21 and from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 2.
St. Martin de Porres parish in Poughkeepsie will host a Holy Hour at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 1.
Assumption parish in Peekskill will show “A Man for All Seasons” in Father Wilson Hall after a Holy Hour that begins at 7 p.m. in the church Friday, June 22. A second Holy Hour, also beginning at 7 p.m., will follow Tuesday, July 3, at the church; attendees are invited to a social afterward.
A Holy Hour will be held following the 9 a.m. Mass Friday, June 22, at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Scarsdale.
St. Joseph’s parish, Croton Falls, will hold a Holy Hour at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 26.
The movie “The War of the Vendee” will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 28, in the auditorium of St. Lawrence O’Toole parish in Brewster.
The Westchester and Putnam Coalition for Religious Freedom will sponsor a Freedom Rally from noon to 2 p.m. in front of the Federal Court House at 300 Quarropas St., on the corner of South Lexington Avenue, Saturday, June 23, in White Plains. The rally will include an interfaith witness and prayer for the right of religious freedom.
In Ulster County, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish, Port Ewen, will hold a Holy Hour at 7 p.m. Thursdays, June 21 and June 28; an informational talk in St. Leo’s Hall following the 10 a.m. Mass Sundays, June 24 and July 1; Mass at 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 4 and the recitation of the glorious mysteries of the Rosary at noon, also on July 4.
St. James the Apostle parish parish, Carmel, will celebrate Mass at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 2.
In Orange County, a Holy Hour will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays, June 22 and June 29, at St. Stephen the First Martyr Church in Warwick.
To kick off the Catholic Church’s national education campaign on religious liberty, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore will celebrate the opening Mass at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at Baltimore’s historic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The closing liturgy will be at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington will celebrate the Mass, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia will be the homilist.
National and local efforts will comprise the campaign launched by the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty. National efforts include the establishment of a website at www.fortnight4freedom.org.
Bell ringing is planned for noon on July 4 to remind citizens nationwide of the primary place of religious freedom in the history, law and culture of the United States.
As a prelude to the “Fortnight for Freedom,” numerous New York Catholics participated in the nationwide “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rally June 8.
Held locally on the front steps of the Federal Hall National Memorial in lower Manhattan—the site where George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States and where the Bill of Rights was passed—the rally was one numerous rallies held simultaneously across the country in protest of the U.S. Health and Human Services’ (HHS) mandate that would force employers to include coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortifacent drugs through the health insurance plans they provide.
The New York rally was the second for the cause at the site; the first was March 23.
Among the speakers was Edward T. Mechmann, assistant director of the archdiocesan Family Life/Respect Life Office. (See Mechmann’s address below.) He estimated an attendance of nearly 300 people.
“I think the rally was very valuable,” Mechmann said. “It keeps the momentum going on the public discussion of this issue. It helps to focus attention on the principles and not the politics. It also gives ordinary Americans a chance to express their concern about the erosion of freedom, and how their lives will be affected by the HHS mandate.”
Catholic News Service contributed to this story.
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