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'Freedom to Bear Witness' theme of 2015 Fortnight for Freedom

fortnight_for_freedom_logo_color_2015This year's Fortnight for Freedom will carry the theme of "Freedom to Bear Witness," as Catholic institutions in the United States still struggle with the federal mandate requiring free insurance coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraceptives. Additionally, we keep in mind Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in such locales as Syria.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has produced a beautiful video for this year's Fortnight for Freedom. Watch it here.

The Archdiocese of Chicago's Respect Life Office will sponsor a kick-off Mass at 12:15 p.m. on Mon., June 22 at St. Peter's in the Loop, followed by a Eucharistic Procession to Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago. The Office for Peace and Justice will join the Respect Life Office in sponsoring a Mass and picnic on Sun., June 27 at Jackson Park, 6401 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago, IL. The Mass will take place at 4 p.m., with the picnic immediately following and lasting until 7 p.m. The Knights of Columbus will provide the picnic food — just bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. For more information, see this flyer

The Diocese of Springfield will sponsor a lecture by Dr. Matthew J. Franck at 12:30 p.m. on Sun., June 28 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Atrium. Franck will speak about "Witnessing to the Truth: Religious Freedom’s Past and Future." Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. He also is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Radford University in Radford, Virginia, where he taught constitutional law, American politics, and political philosophy from 1989 to 2010. He is also a Visiting Lecturer in Politics at Princeton University, where he was a visiting fellow in the James Madison Program in 2008-09, and has been a Fulbright Professor of American Studies at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

A light lunch will be served prior to the lecture in the Cathedral Atrium. Please RSVP by calling 217-698-8500, ext. 137.

The Springfield diocese will also offer a prayer service at noon on Tues., June 23 at the Lincoln Statue located in front of the Illinois Capitol Building.