Pastor's Corner

2015 07-05 We Celebrate Independence Day

Written by:

From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
We celebrated the Fourth of July, Independence Day on Saturday this weekend. On this day, we remember and appreciate the birth of our nation. This day is not just a time for a trip to the lake or for a cookout. Catholic author, Norm Langenbrunner reminds us that Independence Day is also a time “…for remembering the courage and sacrifice of our nation’s founding generation and succeeding generations who have imitated them. From the Lincoln Memorial in DC to the sunken Arizona in Pearl Harbor, Americans pause to remember and many whisper a prayer of thankfulness.”

This day also marks the end of the “Fortnight for Freedom” Campaign sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As Catholics, we are called to truly cherish in a very special way the many freedoms we enjoy in this country. The Campaign serves to remind us that these freedoms should never be taken for granted. As we have previously noted, there are those in our society who are attempting to undermine our trust and belief in God, and in the process are distorting our precious freedoms. As disciples, we are invited to pray that this trust in God may be restored in our nation through the example of our leaders. In the aftermath of the recent Supreme Court ruling concerning the definition of marriage, our bishops once again remind us that there is a need to strengthen the moral foundation of our country, a moral foundation based on faith and trust in the Lord. There is also a need to reaffirm our commitment to guard and protect our freedoms, especially our right to religious liberty.

As we celebrate Independence Day and as we bring our ‘Fortnight for Freedom’ Campaign to a close, we are invited to pray this prayer provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: :

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator, from your provident hand
we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you,
the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome — 
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us — 
this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

2015 07-12 Marriage and Family – We Are Challenged to Be Faithful Witnesses to the Truth
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