On Thursday, June 26, 2014, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrated Mass at Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Cary to observe the Fortnight for Freedom. Fr. Bill John Acosta-Escobar, Fr. Lourduraj Alapaty, Msgr. David Brockman, Fr. Ryan Elder, Fr. John Jairo Granados, Fr. Doug Reed and Fr. Edward Wolanski, C.P., concelebrated.
The Fortnight for Freedom is a 14-day observation that began June 21 and culminates on July 4, 2014. Its purpose is to encourage Catholics to continue to pray and fast for religious freedom, as well as to demonstrate peaceful public action.
In his homily Bishop Burbidge noted the following statement from Pope Francis: “Religious freedom is a fundamental right and a recognition of the dignity of the human person to seek the truth and to adhere to it.”
Bishop Burbidge said that Catholics are living during a critical time, where it is necessary to defend freedom for all citizens. He cited the federal government’s health care mandate as an example of how citizens are being denied the right to exercise their beliefs.
“Our forefathers correctly gave our nation’s citizens the right to practice their faith in accordance with their conscience and firmly-held beliefs,” he said. “From the very beginning until the present day, others have offered service, including the ultimate sacrifice, for the protection of our freedom and religious liberty. At this Eucharist, we give thanks to God for them all.”
Following Mass, the Knights of Columbus hosted a Fortnight for Freedom picnic in Saint Michael’s parish center building.
The Fortnight happens during a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs, such as Saint Thomas More, Saint John Fisher and Saint John the Baptist, who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power.