Letter from Most Rev. William Lori, Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

I would like to bring to your attention materials that have been put together in preparation for this year’s Fortnight for Freedom (from June 21 to July 4). As with last year’s Fortnight, the focus of the call is not mainly for a national program directed from Washington, DC, but instead mostly to inspire activities at the diocesan and parish level. I am attaching to this memo some materials that I hope will serve to help you in these efforts.

 Attached are the following materials: 

1. Article on this year’s Fortnight for Freedom in the magazine Columbia
2. Ecumenical Prayer Service Outline
3. Intercessory Prayers for Ecumenical Service
4. Passages from Scripture for use during the Fortnight for Freedom
5. “Homily Helpers” associated with each of the daily readings of the Fortnight (sample homilies for the two Sundays within the Fortnight are forthcoming)

Also attached are materials that are already, or will soon be, made available publicly through the website

1. Parish guide to celebrating the Fortnight
2. 14-Day Study Guide on Dignitatis Humanae
3. Frequently Asked Questions about Religious Liberty
4. Litany for Liberty
5. A series of examples of current threats to religious liberty in the U.S. (including examples in the areas of marriage, immigration, and humanitarian services)
6. A series of examples of examples of international threats to religious liberty
7. Prayers of the Faithful (as part of the Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty)
8. Holy Hour Template (also part of the Call to Prayer)

Please note that the publicly available materials are also available in Spanish on the Fortnight for Freedom website. Please continue to check for updated information about the 2013 Fortnight, including videos promoting the Fortnight and examples of diocesan activities. Please ask your staff to send links to your diocese’s Fortnight website or flyers promoting Fortnight events to Hillary Byrnes, lead staff to the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , so that these events can be posted. This website served as a great tool for dioceses looking for ideas and for people in the pews to find out about local Fortnight events.

We are also calling for ecumenical and interfaith participation in the Fortnight. An ecumenical open letter on religious freedom has already been drafted by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. We will be seeking signatories from other denominations and faiths for this effort, which will be released in connection with the Fortnight.

Two special Masses are planned to begin and end the Fortnight for Freedom. To begin the Fortnight nationally, I will celebrate a Mass on June 21st here in Baltimore at 7 p.m. Eastern. Cardinal Wuerl will celebrate the Fortnight’s closing Mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC on July 4th at noon Eastern. Both Masses will be televised nationwide on EWTN.


Thank you again for your united voice in the promotion and defense of religious freedom!