In celebration of the Fortnight for Freedom, a 14-day observance that highlights the importance of defending religious freedom, approximately 200 people attended the Mass and Picnic at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Thursday, July 29.
Msgr. Jeffrey Ingham was the celebrant. He was assisted by Deacon Steven Lewandowski and Deacon Brian Phillips. Fr. Lourduraj Alapaty concelebrated.
In his homily, Msgr. Ingham traced the history of the providence of God throughout history, including peaceful times and times of martyrdom. Through it all the church went on, he said. “The church can be weakened but never destroyed. She will always come back with a greater strength.”
He said today our freedom is not as secure as it once was and that we allowed the present cultural revolution. Msgr. Ingahm continued to explain that morality was changing, little by little, including the breakdown of the family, the perversion of marriage, the degradation of the sacredness of human sexuality and the threatening of innocent life in the womb and its destruction.
People will say to us today that we will always have freedom to worship, but, he said, freedom of worship is not enough. Our faith affects every element of our lives, and we must be free to live our faith every moment of our day, despite opposition.
But there is hope, he said. “We are part of God’s providence,” he said. “God can bring good out of the worst things. The cross is great liberator, and we are people of the cross, so we can be certain of freedom.”
Each year, the Fortnight begins on June 21, the vigil for the feast days of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. Both More and Fisher were patriots. They never rose up to incite rebellion or foment revolution. But when the law of the king came into conflict with the law of Christ, they chose Christ. These men gave their lives for the freedom of the Church and for freedom of conscience.
This is the sixth year that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for a Fortnight for Freedom. During the Fortnight, the faithful are encouraged to pray for the intention of preserving and promoting religious freedom. Parishes and the faithful are also encouraged to dedicate the intention of preserving and promoting religious freedom to any of their regularly scheduled devotions, such as Holy Hours and the Holy Rosary, through the end of the Fortnight on July 4.