The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge celebrated Mass Thursday, June 23, in observance of Fortnight for Freedom, a 14-day event that highlights the importance of defending religious freedom.
Mass was held at St. Joseph Church in Raleigh. Msgr. Jeffrey Ingham, pastor of St. Joseph; Rev. Lourdaraj Alapaty, chaplain to Wake Med Hospital and Rev. Joseph K. Oji, chaplain to the Igbo Catholic Community at St. Joseph, concelebrated. Deacons Stephen Lewandowski and Brian Phillips assisted Bishop Burbidge during the Mass.
In his homily, Bishop Burbidge noted that during Pope Francis’ United States visit he reminded us that: “The Declaration of Independence stated that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that governments exist to protect and defend those rights ... including the most cherished freedom: religious liberty.”
Bishop Burbidge encouraged the faithful to pray for elected officials. “Strengthened with the Holy Eucharist … we dedicate ourselves … to participate peacefully in the political process so that our voices are heard; and to make sure on a daily basis we never compromise our beliefs and convictions within our workplaces, communities and homes so that we truly are witnesses of faith, who are needed now more than ever!”
The Knights of Columbus sponsored a picnic following the Mass.