US bishops announce prayer campaign for religious liberty, life, and marriage; encourage fast, abstinence on all Fridays : News Headlines – Catholic Culture

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has announced a campaign of prayer and fasting for increased protection of religious liberty and for the “rebuilding of a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty.”

The campaign, which will begin the Sunday after Christmas, “is essentially a call and encouragement to prayer and sacrifice – it’s meant to be simple,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. “It’s not meant to be another program but rather part of a movement for life, marriage, and religious liberty, which engages the New Evangelization and can be incorporated into the Year of Faith.”

The campaign has five components:

  • cathedrals and parishes are encouraged to hold a Eucharistic holy hour for life, marriage, and religious liberty on or near the last Sunday of every month
  • individuals and families are encouraged to pray the Rosary daily, “especially for the preservation of life, marriage, and religious liberty in the nation”
  • priests are encouraged to include prayers for life, marriage, and religious liberty among the intentions during the Prayer of the Faithful at Mass
  • “recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church,” the bishops encourage fasting and abstinence from meat on all Fridays
  • “in light of the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate,” a second Fortnight for Freedom will be held in July

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