Archdiocese launches Campaign for Religious Liberty

Illustration by Lisa Johnston

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson has announced that the Archdiocese of St. Louis is launching a "Campaign for Religious Liberty."

The six-month campaign will begin on Sunday, May 27, the feast of Pentecost, and end Nov. 25, the solemnity of Christ the King. Priests in the archdiocese were notified of the campaign this week in a letter from the archbishop.

In his letter, Archbishop Carlson wrote, "religious liberty is our first, most cherished freedom. The threat the HHS mandate poses to the Catholic Church is no small matter." He later added: "It is imperative that we act now to protect the freedoms upon which this country is based."

Within the local campaign will be the U.S. bishops' Fortnight for Freedom, a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of freedom, which begins on June 21, the feasts of Sts. John Fischer and Thomas More and ends on July 4, Independence Day. The event was announced as part of the bishops' April 12 document, "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty," which includes specific examples of how religious liberty is currently under attack in the United States.

The archbishop recommended that each parish's Respect Life Committee carry out the work of the local campaign at the parish level. The archdiocese has set up a a special web page archstl.org/liberty with information and resources for the campaign. Resources include:

• Calendar of events, which includes important upcoming campaign events, such as the U.S. bishops' Fortnight for Freedom June 21-July 4;

• Web-based parish action kit, which includes numerous resources for communicating the religious liberty issue. Resources include web banners, a prayer card template, talking points, videos and more;

• Links to what the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Missouri Catholic Conference and the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate are saying on the issue;

• St. Louis Review, including a link to past coverage on the issue and information on how to subscribe to the paper;

• Social media, including a Twitter hashtag #libertystl that the archdiocese is using to engage in conversation on the topic of religious liberty.

Because prayer and fasting are important parts of the campaign, Archbishop Carlson will recite a prayer for religious liberty on Covenant Radio every day at 3 p.m. The Archbishop also is encouraging fasting on Fridays for the protection of religious liberty.

For more information on the campaign, call the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate at (314) 792-7555. . 

Religious liberty talk

Bishop Robert J. Hermann and nationally known speaker and author William Federer will be the featured speakers at a presentation, “Religious Freedom Under Attack.” Bishop Hermann will speak on “Christ and Courage: Is Obamacare for everyone?” and Federer will speak on “How the Catholic Church Invented Modern Healthcare.”

WHEN: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16

WHERE: St. Cletus Parish, 2721 Zumbehl Road in St. Charles

SPONSOR: Body of Christ Outreach

CONTACT: Joe and Chris Wooldridge at (636) 922-4761

To see a calendar of other events in the archdiocese, visit archstl.org/liberty.

Religious liberty coverage

The Review continues to provide ongoing coverage of the HHS health care mandate and issue of religious liberty.

Past articles can be found online at stlouisreview.com/conscience. The Review also will dedicate its entire June 22 issue to the topic of religious liberty. To submit story ideas, contact reporter Jennifer Brinker at (314) 792-7505 or email at jbrinker@archstl.org. For advertising opportunities, contact Eric Zyk at (314) 792-7517 or email at ericzyk@archstl.org.

For online resources on religious liberty, including an action kit for parishes, a calendar of events and more, visit the archdiocese's website at archstl.org/liberty. The archdiocese also is using the Twitter hashtag #libertystl to engage in conversation on the topic. 

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