You may have read in some Catholic blogs or publications about “Fortnight For Freedom,” a two-week period preceding Independence Day, in which Catholics across the country will gather for prayer, fasting, and other events to highlight the importance of Religious Liberty.
Within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, plans for this nationwide observance began to take shape in response to the threat against the First Amendment posed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “contraceptive mandate.” The 14 day observance begins with the eve of the Feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, June 21, and concludes on July 4.
In a recent meeting of the Presbyteral Council of priests, we too discussed some ways this can be observed in our Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. In particular I am asking parishes to pray the St. Michael the Archangel Prayer. We will also have a Mass on the night before 4th of July to gather our prayers and intentions concerning this important issue.
St. Michael Prayer at the General Intercessions
At all Masses where the “General Intercessions” are prayed, I ask that the prayer, St. Michael the Archangel, be prayed in unison by all the Faithful at the end of the intercessions and before the priest concludes the prayer in the usual way. This is particularly requested in all parishes and Catholic institutions of the Diocese from June 21 through July 4. Any parish or oratory or chapel may consider beginning to use this prayer immediately and may continue to use it after July 4th.
The St. Michael Prayer
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray,
And do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the divine power of God cast into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Diocesan Mass, July 3, 2012 and Ice Cream Social
On Tuesday Evening, July 3rd, I will offer Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception at 6:30 p.m., as a prayer for our beloved country. All priests are invited to concelebrate in diocesan chasuble. Deacons may likewise vest and participate. The Mass will be followed by an “ice cream social,” sponsored by Carondelet Health (St. Joseph and St. Mary Hospitals), at the Cathedral. This event should finish in time for people to attend fireworks displays or other events.
Informational Meetings About the HHS Mandate and Religious Liberty
Bill Francis, Director of the Diocesan Respect Life and Human Rights Office will host a series of informational gatherings to discuss the mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services, and its impact on our religious liberties. The presentations that have already been planned are at the times and locations below. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Sunday June 17 (Father’s Day), 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., St. Columban Catholic Church (Parish Hall), 1111 Trenton Street, Chillicothe, MO 64601
Tuesday June 19, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., St. Mark Catholic Church (The Upper Room), 3736 South Lee’s Summit Road, Independence, MO 64055
Thursday June 21, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., St. Therese Catholic Church (Parish Hall), 7277 NW State Route 9, Kansas City, MO 64152
Tuesday June 26, 12:00 p.m. – 1 p.m., The Catholic Center (Cardinal Baum Room), 20 West Ninth Street, Kansas City, MO 64105
Tuesday June 26, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church (Parish Hall), 8941 James A Reed Road, Kansas City, MO 64138
Friday July 6, 12:00 p.m. – 1 p.m., The Catholic Center (Cardinal Baum Room), 20 West Ninth Street, Kansas City, MO 54105
Wednesday October 3, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., Church of the Good Shepherd (Parish Hall), 18601 North 169 Highway, Smithville, MO 64089
Sunday October 7, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., St. Rose of Lima Church (Parish Hall), 707 South Hall Avenue, Savannah, MO 64485
Thursday October 11, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., University of Central Missouri Newman Center (Location TBD), 116 West South Street, Warrensburg, MO 64093
Wednesday October 17, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., St. Gregory Barbarigo Church (Parish Hall), 315 South Davis Street, Maryville, MO 64468
The U.S. Bishops’ website — www.usccb.org — has other background information, prayers, and suggestions for the observance of the Fortnight for Freedom.