Archdiocese of St. Louis launches Campaign for Religious Liberty

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This weekend marks one of the key components of the archdiocese's Campaign for Religious Liberty.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson is calling on all parishes in the archdiocese to participate in a Religious Liberty Weekend of activities June 23-24 in conjunction with the U.S. bishops' Fortnight for Freedom.

The Fortnight for Freedom is a special two-week period of prayer, fasting and catechesis being observed by dioceses throughout the country from June 21, the feasts of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, and ending July 4, Independence Day. The event was announced as part of the U.S. bishops' April 12 document, "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty," which includes specific examples of how religious liberty is under attack in the United States.

Archbishop Carlson wrote in a letter that "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."

The Religious Liberty Weekend in St. Louis is part of the ongoing archdiocesen Campaign for Religious Liberty, which began on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, and will continue through Nov. 25, the feast of Christ the King.

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 and videos;
  • 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. Additional resources can be found online at archstl.org/liberty.

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