Fortnight for Freedom

June 06, 2012

In April, the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” 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, from June 21-July 4.

The Archdiocese of Washington will be hosting a prayerful celebration of freedom to kickoff the Fortnight for Freedom campaign in the archdiocese with a rally, “Celebration of Freedom.”

Sunday, June 24, 2012
4:00 pm
The Charles E. Smith Center
George Washington University
22nd and G Streets, NW
Washington, DC

Thousands are expected to attend this free event. The event will feature inspiring videos and music from the St. Augustine choir, all highlighting the heritage of religious liberty in America and the vital contributions of Catholics in building this nation. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, will invite attendees to join in prayer as our most significant tool in the fight for freedom. The event will culminate in Benediction. Attendees must have a ticket for the Celebration for Freedom event. Tickets can be reserved at, a new website created as part of the Fortnight for Freedom.

The domain name for the website comes from James Madison, who often referred to “conscience” as the “the most sacred of all property.” This website will feature catechetical, prayer, video and parish resources regarding the Fortnight for Freedom initiative, but also religious freedom. The site is meant to educate about the history and importance of religious freedom, inform the faithful about events and also to encourage prayerful action. The materials will integrate religious liberty catechesis with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document, “Faithful Citizenship.”

Other elements of this campaign in the archdiocese will be the distribution to parishes of over 10,000 car magnets that encourage people to visit the website,, to learn more about religious freedom. Television, radio and newspaper advertising campaign has begun, prompting people to visit the website. A social media campaign has also begun.

A “Minute to Win It!” campaign began May 23, 2012 and will run through the Solemnity of Christ the King (November 25, 2012). Through parish and archdiocesan resources as well as social media, all are invited to pray a short prayer for religious freedom each day at 3:00 p.m. Prayer cards were distributed at the May 22, 2012 Theology on Tap when Cardinal Wuerl spoke on religious liberty. Video from the Cardinal’s talk can be found here.

On June 23, 2012, A music fest for young adults, entitled “Be The Conscience,” will feature Catholic artists from the across the country. The event will be held at Friday’s Creek Winery in Owings at 6:00-9:00 p.m. This event will serve as a celebration of our religious freedom, as well as encourage and inspire young adults to stand in protection of it. More details about this event are available on the Young Adult Ministry’s Facebook page. You can access this by clicking here.

Meanwhile, on certain Saturdays throughout the summer, a service outreach initiative called “Growing In Faith Through Service” or GIFTS, will invite young adults to volunteer opportunities at local Catholic Charities agencies. These popular service opportunities will provide time for regular reflection on religious liberty and the impact of the Catholic Church on the Washington area. The dates are June 16, July 21 and August 4. More details will be available at

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 600,000 Catholics living in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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