Ideas for Fortnight for Freedom

The Bishops of the United States have called all the faithful to celebrate the Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness from June 21 to July 4, 2015. The theme of this year’s Fortnight will focus on the freedom to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel.
1. Celebrate a memorial Mass for SS. Thomas More and John Fisher on June 22 (their feast day) to recognize how they bore witness to the truth (and paid for it with their lives).
2. Present a Catholic movie night for members of your parish, by getting copyright permission to show:
a. A Man for All Seasons, about the martyrdom of St. Thomas More;
b. For Greater Glory, about the struggle for religious freedom in Mexico;
c. First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty, a PBS video about religious freedom;
d. Becket, about 12th century English martyr St. Thomas à Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
3. Invite a local or national figure to speak to your parish about religious liberty. Also, encourage parishioners to read Our First, Most Cherished Liberty, a document of the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.
4. Sponsor a day of faith-based service within the community, perhaps volunteering at a soup kitchen or helping to paint, garden, clean, or organize donations at a local charity. Highlight existing Catholic service activities and institutions and how they bear witness to the truth of the Gospel.
5. Host an indoor or outdoor concert with religious music.
6. Plan a parish outreach event including a meal—a fish fry, picnic, pancake breakfast, or spaghetti supper—to raise awareness about the Fortnight and advertise local Fortnight events.
7. Organize day-long (or multi-day) Eucharistic Adoration.
8. Sponsor a presentation on the history of Catholicism in the United States.
9. Host a study group on Dignitatis Humanae, the groundbreaking document from the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty, using the 14-day reflection piece at This year marks the 50th anniversary of this important document.
10. Lead a Eucharistic Procession through your community on a path that passes important government or civic buildings.
11. Host a panel discussion on the wide range of current religious freedom issues; on a single religious freedom issue in depth; or on how religion can and should influence policy issues generally.
12. Remind parishioners that the Supreme Court decision on marriage—which may have serious effects on religious freedom in our country—is expected to occur during the Fortnight (likely on the last day of the Court’s term, June 29). Consider events surrounding the announcement of the decision.
13. As a parish at the end of daily Mass, pray the Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty.
14. Organize an Independence Day family picnic with a special Mass to close the Fortnight for Freedom.