Bishop Burbidge Thanks You for Supporting the BLA

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Fortnight for Freedom 2017 "Freedom for Mission"

The Fortnight for Freedom is an annual 14-day event held in dioceses and parishes across the United States to raise awareness about the importance of religious freedom. Launched in the summer of 2011 by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB), the Fortnight for Freedom initiative serves as a vital channel for promoting the preservation and protection of our religious liberty through prayer and activism across the country.

About the 2017 Theme "Freedom for Mission"

This year's theme "Freedom for Mission" is focused on the importance and value of our freedom to be a witness to the Catholic faith in how we pray, serve others, and promote a culture of freedom.

We encourage you to participate in this important cause for the Catholic Church with your local parish community.

Opening and Closing Masses

  • Opening Mass - June 21, 2017 in Baltimore, MD
    The Fortnight for Freedom Opening Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop William Lori on Wednesday, June 21 at 7 pm at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, Maryland.

  • Opening Mass (Diocese of Arlington) - June 22, 2017 in Arlington, VA
    For the Diocese of Arlington, the Fortnight for Freedom Opening Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Burbidge on Thursday, June 22 at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, followed by a reception in Burke Hall.

  • Closing Mass - July 4, 2017 in Orlando, FL
    The closing mass will be celebrated by Archbishop William Lori for the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Florida.

Parish events across the Diocese of Arlington

  • St. Ambrose, Annandale: On Friday, July 7th, there will be Eucharistic exposition beginning after the 9 a.m. Mass and ending with Benediction at 3:30 p.m., with a Rosary said at the top of every hour during Adoration. For more information, please visit the St. Ambrose website.

  • The Catholic Information Center ( Washington DC ): On Thursday, June 29th at 6 p.m., there will be a talk and book-signing event titled "Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination." For more information, visit the CIC website.

  • Holy Trinity, Gainesville: On Wednesday, June 21 at 7 p.m., there will be a Holy Hour for the Fortnight for Freedom. For more information please visit the Holy Trinity parish website.

  • St. John Bosco, Woodstock: On Wednesday, June 21st and Wednesday, June 28th there will be a Eucharistic Holy Hour from 7 - 8 p.m. For more information, please see the St. John Bosco bulletin.

  • St. Mary, Alexandria: On Thursday, June 29th, there will be Vespers for Freedom from 7 - 8 p.m. For more information please see the online bulletin (page 5).

  • St. Raymond, Springfield:

    1. There will be two Holy Hours for Religious Freedom, one on Wednesday, June 21 and another on Wednesday, June 28.
    2. After the 8 a.m. weekday Masses, the 9 a.m. Saturday Masses and 5 p.m. Sunday Masses, the “Prayer for Religious Freedom” and the Novena Prayers to St. Thomas More (available here) will be recited.
    3. For more information please visit the St. Raymond website or St. Raymond's Fortnight for Freedom page. You can also print their prayer package and the Litany of St. Thomas More for home use.

Current Threats to Religious Liberty

To learn about the current domestic and international threats to our religious liberty please visit the USCCB's website

Fortnight for Freedom Resources

Daily Reflections for the Fortnight for Freedom

Download an e-booklet of reflections for every day during the Fortnight for Freedom in English or Spanish.

Take Action

  • Visit the  USCCB's Online Religious Liberty Action Center
  • Visit the  Human Life Action Center website
  • Write to Congress about your opposition to the HHS mandate and calling for protection of our conscience rights. Ask your Representative & Senators to support the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940, S. 1204) and to ensure respect for the religious liberty and conscience rights of all participants in our nation's health care system. 
  • Call your Members of Congress via the U.S. Capitol switchboard number at 202-224-3121, or call your Representative's and Senators' local offices. Additional contact information can be found on Representatives' websites at . . and Senators' websites at . . .
  • Participate in the  "Project Life and Liberty" postcard campaign.
  • Sign up for the  Virginia Catholic Conference advocacy network
  • Keep up-to-date on current religious freedom issues, sign up for text messages from the USCCB. Text the word "FREEDOM" to 377377.

Articles and Press Coverage of the Fortnight for Freedom in the Arlington Diocese

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

Visit this page to download printable prayer cards of this prayer in English and Spanish.

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.