The Family of St. Thomas More by Rowland Lockey (Wikipedia).

 

Here are 10 activities you can do as a family to support religious freedom and true marriage in the two weeks between June 21 and July 4. You can do all these even in a diocese with no scheduled events.

1. Pray the family Rosary.

Pray the Luminous Mysteries together for the recognition of marriage as one man and one woman. Pray the glorious mysteries for the protection of our God-given right to religious freedom.

2. Make an extra visit to the Adoration chapel.

This is a great opportunity to introduce your children to Eucharistic Adoration, or bring them back if they haven’t gone for a long time. Make this a special trip for the intentions of the Fortnight for Freedom. Don’t worry if you can only stay ten minutes with all the little ones.

3. Watch and discuss A Man for All Seasons.

June 22 is the feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fischer (also Corpus Christi this year). Learn about the saint who died for his defense of marriage. Here is a holy card and prayer to St. Thomas More for religious freedom.

4. Spend time in together public.

Let the world see how beautiful family life can be, as you go to the zoo, take a walk, have a picnic, or eat out together. Strengthen your family bonds at the same time.

 5. Fast on Friday, June 27.

Invite each family member of school age or older to fast or make another sacrifice on the Friday within the fortnight.

6. Look at wedding photos and movies.

Dust off those photo albums and share your memories with your children. Make sure they see pictures of you in the Church if possible.

7. Pray the Litany for Liberty.

Download a copy of the Litany here.

8. Watch First Freedom: Fight for Religious Liberty.

The USCCB recommends this PBS video you can watch online. The 87-minute production tells how America’s Founding Father’s enshrined freedom of religion in our Constitution.

9. Discuss the importance of traditional marriage.

Depending on your children’s ages and readiness, discuss some of these topics: How are Mom and Dad different? Why do kids need both a mom and dad? Why did God make families? With older children, you could discuss the creation of Eve; the Wedding at Cana; Jesus’ words about marriage and divorce; why matrimony is a sacrament (and why it’s called matrimony).

10. Attend Mass on Friday, July 4.

If your diocese has a closing Mass for the Fortnight for Freedom, attend together. If there is not special Mass, attend your parish Mass that day. Pray that God protects our right to practice our Catholic faith without persecution.

For more articles on the Fortnight for Freedom, visit the blog of the Catholic Writers Guild.

Click here to find the activities schedule in your diocese.

Connie Rossini

Share with us: If you have more ideas about how to celebrate the Fortnight for Freedom with children, please share them in the Comments Box. Thanks!

Written by Connie Rossini
Hi, I'm a Catholic writer and homeschool mother of four boys. I practice Carmelite spirituality. Check out my Books page for publications to help your whole family grow in holiness.

    9 Comments

  1. a solitary bird June 20, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Great ideas! Thanks for posting – I am sharing this in my social media too.

  2. Jennifer June 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Great ideas. June 22nd is our wedding anniversary and also a patron saint’s day for my youngest son and husband; so we will be celebrating marriage and Sir Thomas More for sure. I like your ideas. I am going to share with a few friends. We were already having adoration and a family rosary that day, maybe we can incorporate a few more things over the week.

    • Connie Rossini June 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Jennifer, that’s our anniversary too! I’ve had a devotion to Thomas More and John Fischer ever since we picked that date. It was also the feast of the Sacred Heart that year (2001). Congratulations to you and your husband!

  3. Janet Baker June 21, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Connie, these are wonderful activities for the family, but there is more to the call for ‘religious liberty.’ That’s a long, old battle the Church only recently quit fighting. The call for religious liberty came almost at once after the great repression of Catholics during the Tudor era and later. It was a call from the protestant sects that immediately sprang up and supported by those Catholics who wanted to end the struggle for the restoration of the destroyed Catholic state and its economy, its way of making a living. They didn’t want to get martyred. They’d rather switch than fight. And it wasn’t then, nor is now, only a fight about morality. The protestants wanted capitalism, a new system in the world, based on competition rather than the old Catholic cooperation.

    The US was the chief promoter of religious liberty ever since it was formed, and we spread this idea around the world. There must be a ‘separation of church and state’ and all religions must be practiced privately, with no official public state religion. But the Church in the rest of the world still fought for the restoration, and we still had Catholic states, which is the opposite of religious liberty, right up to Vatican II. At Vatican II, the whole Church caved in and gave up the battle. They even dissolved the five remaining Catholic states.

    And we see now how that worked out. For a long time things went along more or less okay, because most people still honored the old morality, except in economics where it became okay to make every fast buck you could, but then divorce was made easy, and then abortion, and now homosexual marriage. Calling for more religious liberty, as the bishops request, won’t help us at all–it’s religious liberty that has legalized all these horrible sins. I remember Nancy Pelosi on Meet the Press saying she could not prevent a woman whose religion allows abortion from getting one by making it illegal. Nancy very correctly said that the Church forbids us to do that. The Vatican has never called for the overturn of Roe V Wade, just that we continue to ‘form consciences’ while our nation, and especially the African American community, is destroyed by abortion, which wrecks communities and economies.The same will be true for homosexuality. The bishops are not calling for the laws to be rolled back, just that an exception be made for Catholics who don’t believe in it. They want to be ‘for’ religious liberty except when they don’t want to, when they want our Church to be special just in these few instances. Well, if all religions are equal, how can that be? It’s like having your cake and eating it, too.

    We have to call for the values of the Catholic church to be honored throughout our society. We have to call for the Trinitarian God to be at the center of our nation. We have to recognize Christ’s kingship. And people are so fed up they are ready to hear it. But religious liberty? Been there, done that. Vatican II was just wrong.

    Check out Hungary’s new constitution where they make a beginning to do exactly that. The EU hates it, of course. That’s what we should be doing, returning to tolerance, not liberty, as the Church always taught before.

    • Connie Rossini June 21, 2014 at 11:35 am

      Janet, thanks for visiting and commenting. I am not an expert on the history of religious liberty, nor do I have the time right now to do the in-depth research necessary to totally refute your argument. I have read a little about this–can’t remember where–maybe something by Robert Royal? I think you are mixing U.S. politics and Catholic doctrine in your comment. When the Church speaks of religious liberty, She does not necessarily mean the it in the same way that, say, conservative American Protestants would.

      I’m not sure if you’re looking for the Church to advocate for Catholic states throughout the world? Surely that is an impractical and unattainable goal that would take our focus off the primary goal of living for Christ! We are no longer living in the Middle Ages, nor is the Church primarily European any more.

      To say that the Church has never called for the overturn of Roe v. Wade is patently false. Perhaps the U.S. Bishops have not been strong enough in calling for its overturn, but that’s completely different from claiming that the Church is okay with legalized abortion. Here in Minnesota, the bishops put up a strong fight to preserve traditional marriage, and even though we lost in the ballot box and the courts, the fight continues. I don’t see how you can state otherwise, since the protection and promotion of true marriage is one of the main focuses of the Fortnight for Freedom. Not every bishop has been outspoken or willing to fight, true. But again, one bishop does not equal the Church.

      We live in a nation that has always been split between Protestants and Seculars, with Catholics a minority that has often been despised by both sides. If there is no religious liberty here, that means no freedom for Catholics to practice our faith. We are not going to have a revolution and set a Catholic king on the throne of America.

      And, about Vatican II: sorry, but no Catholic other than the pope has authority to decide what we must accept from an ecumenical council. That’s the tradition from the Council of Jerusalem in the first century.

      I wish I had time to look up sources for you, but with family responsibilities and trying to get my book ready for publication next month, I just don’t. Happy feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fischer, and Corpus Christi.

      • Janet Baker June 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm

        Connie, there isn’t any difference between politics and religion. We souls, we sheep, live in human societies which either help us or hinder us from getting to heaven. I know you will agree it doesn’t get more spiritual than that, nor more political. The more you read, the more you find that the questions overlap and merge. As they did in Christ’s time. I hope you will continue to think about this topic. Souls are being lost because of our sometimes willful confusion on this issue. Pick up Quas Primas.Thank you for your courtesy.

  4. Debbie D. June 21, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I love your site! Just wanted to share my thoughts on Religious Liberty. I do not agree with this term or with this concept at all. When it comes to everyone practicing their own religion we Catholics must remember that Jesus said to the Apostles to go out and teach all nations about Jesus and bringing them to conversion to the Catholic Church. Their job was to help them realize that their false religions were not the way. That Jesus was the Way, the Truth and the Life. So celebrating everyone’s religious freedom and liberty seems to be quite contrary to the teachings of Jesus who founded the one, true,holy , Catholic and apostolic Church. I love homeschooling and your site. Keep up the good work!

    • Connie Rossini June 22, 2014 at 8:30 am

      As I said to Janet, I really wish I had time to get into this more, but I don’t have the time for research right now. But the Church does believe in freedom of conscience. We do not believe in forcing people to be Catholic or in others restricting our freedom to practice the Catholic faith. If you or Janet could quote from a Church document that expresses what you mean, then maybe we would have something to discuss. There is no obvious contradiction between religious freedom and preaching the Gospel. Saying that others should be free to search for the truth, rather than being pressured by law to accept the faith, seems very Catholic to me. Don’t we want to be free ourselves, especially in a country that has never been and will very likely never be Catholic? Then why do we balk at giving the same freedom to others? I am not saying all religions are equal or deserve equal respect. But I think what we really need to do is discuss how religious tolerance or liberty should be worked out in accordance with our faith, not reject it as something antithetical to the faith. That’s the path the Church has taken.

      Thanks for your compliments and for taking the time to comment.