• Bishop Murphy to Lead Vespers Service in Cathedral on June 22, 2012 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Telecare to Air opening Vespers and Closing Mass


ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK – June 13, 2012 – On April 12, 2012, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishop’s concerns over threats to religious freedom both at home and abroad. 

The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21 – July 4, 2012. 

The fourteen days from June 21 – the vigil of the Feasts of Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More – to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom” – a great hymn of prayer for our country. 

The Liturgical Calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power – Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More, Saint John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty.

In the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the two-week event will begin with a Solemn Vespers Service led by the Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. at Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, N.Y. 

The fortnight will culminate with a Mass celebrated by Bishop-elect Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on July 4 at 12:10 p.m. at Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre.

Telecare (Cablevision Channel 29/Verizon FiOS Channel 296), the television station of The Diocese of Rockville Centre will air both the opening vespers service and the closing Mass. 

The Diocese and many of its parishes will also offer special events during the fortnight that will follow the great national campaign of teaching and witnessing for religious liberty. 

Listed below are opportunities for individual participation:

PRAYER.  Whether you choose to say the Rosary daily, or pray the novena for Religious Liberty for those two weeks, or simply pray the Prayer for Religious Freedom, make a diligent effort to commit to daily prayer during these two weeks.

ATTEND DAILY MASS.  Offer a Mass during the week for religious liberty.  If you are unable to make it to Mass every day, commit to once or twice a week during the two-week period.

EDUCATION.  Read the bulletin inserts provided by your parish and go online to and for additional information on the issue of religious freedom. 

EDUCATE OTHERS.  Share what you read and discover with your family, friends and neighbors.  Religious freedom is an American issue, not just a Catholic issue.

FAST. or make an appropriate act of reparation during this two-week period, such as meatless Fridays or a fast day on Wednesdays.

PARTICIPATE IN PARISH, DIOCESAN AND STATE EVENTS.  If possible, try to attend some of the public events scheduled in your area.

DISPLAY THE AMERICAN FLAG.  Religious freedom is a right granted to all Americans in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Proudly display the American flag on or near your home.

INCORPORATE PRAYER INTO YOUR MEETINGS.  If there is a prayer said at your already scheduled business or civic meetings, pray for religious freedom. 




Almighty God, Father of all nations, for freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal. 5:1)

We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty, the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good.

Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; by your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land.

We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, forever and ever, Amen.


About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre ( was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  The diocese serves approximately 1,737,498 baptized Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million).  There are 134 parishes (1 campus parish) in 115 towns.  In 2010, 16,318 baptisms, 16,296 confirmations, 17,123 First Holy Communions and 4,773 marriages took place in the diocese.  There are 18,496 students in Catholic elementary schools; 12,328 students in Catholic high schools and 3,500 students in higher institutions.  There are 53 Catholic elementary schools (49 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan, 2 parish and 5 private) and one Catholic college in the diocese.  Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island is comprised of six hospitals, three nursing homes, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for persons with special needs.  More than 17,500 employees and 4,600 credentialed physicians work within the CHS system.  In 2010, Catholic Charities assisted more than 53,500 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island.  (05/12).

CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
                Director of Communications
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                (c) 516-510-0473
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