Once again, the bishops of the United States have asked Catholics to celebrate the annual Fortnight for Freedom, a national effort to educate Americans on the challenges to religious liberty, from June 21 - July 4. This year's theme is "Witnesses to freedom."
The Diocese of Buffalo will mark this occasion with a vigil Mass of the Feast of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21, at the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, 335 Doat St., Buffalo. Father Robert Zilliox, who serves as defender of the bond in the diocesan tribunal, will be the celebrant.
The closing Mass will be held on Thursday, June 30, at 4 p.m. at the Carmelite Monastery, 75 Carmel Road, Buffalo. Father Jacek Mazur, pastor of Divine Mercy Parish, Niagara Falls, will be the celebrant. All are welcome at both Masses.
Parishes throughout the diocese are encouraged to participate in the fortnight of prayer for religious freedom on the parish level.
St. Leo the Great Parish, 885 Sweet Home Road, Amherst, will offer a night of freedom, faith and film on Wednesday, June 22, starting at 5 p.m. The program will begin with food, followed by an opportunity to gain a plenary indulgence through the Holy Door. At 6:30 p.m., Father Peter Calabrese, CRSP, associate director of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, Youngstown, will begin the chaplet of Divine Mercy and will speak about religious liberty. Rod Quebral, Esq., a member of the St. Thomas More Guild, will give a brief introduction to the movie "A Man for All Seasons," a story about St. Thomas More and his struggle for religious liberty. All are welcome.
St Francis of Assisi, 4263 Saint Francis Drive, Athol Springs, will offer 1 p.m. Recitation of the Patriotic Rosary Monday through Thursday for both weeks. On Friday, June 24 and Friday, July 1, the Recitation of the Patriotic Rosary will be held at 8:30 a.m.
St. John Paul II, 2052 Lakeview Rd., Lake View will hold Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Little Church from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday June 21. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Little Church will also be celebrated on Tuesday, June 28 from 5-6:30 p.m. with Patriotic Rosary & ice cream social to follow. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament following 8:30 AM Mass until 5 PM in the Little Church on Friday, July 1.
For more information about the Fortnight of Freedom on the local level, contact the diocesan Pro-Life Office at 847-2205, or visit the Faithful Citizenship page on the diocesan website, http://www.buffalodiocese.org/PublicPolicy/Fortnight.aspx. For information on the national level, visit www.Fortnight4Freedom.org.