For the third consecutive year, the bishops of Texas are joining their counterparts across the United States for the "Fortnight for Freedom". This 14-day period of prayer, penance, education, and action in defense of religious freedom opened on Sunday, June 21, 2015, and runs through the Fourth of July.  The theme of this year’s observation focuses on the "freedom to bear witness" to the truth of the Gospel.
Archbishop William Lori kicked-off the Fortnight for Freedom by celebrating an Opening Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, Maryland, on Sunday, June 21, 2015. Texas Catholics prayed in solidarity with national Church leaders through a variety of spiritual events.
Bishop Michael Sis of the Diocese of San Angelo presided over an Opening Mass for the Fortnight at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Odessa on Sunday morning, June 21, 2015. He issued a call for spiritual action, “Let us pray during the two weeks of this observance that God may strengthen our own resolve to bear witness to the truth of the Gospel.”  Bishop Sis also asked parishes in the San Angelo Diocese to include prayers for religious liberty in all of their Masses on the Fourth of July to conclude this year’s event.
Corpus Christi Bishop Michael Mulvey celebrated a Memorial Massfor the martyrs St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher at the Corpus Christi Cathedral on Monday evening, June 22, 2015. Bishop Mulvey also encouraged his flock to voluntarily fast and abstain from meat on the two Fridays during the Fortnight, as well as take part in prayer services and Eucharistic Adoration for religious freedom. He also invited the faithful to attend a presentation on “Religious Liberty & Human Dignity,” hosted at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Parish in Corpus Christi on Wednesday, July 1, at 7:00 p.m.
In the Diocese of Dallas, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Richardson and St. Mark Catholic Church in Plano hosted Patriotic Rosaries to open the Fortnight. The Patriotic Rosary consists of five decades of the Sorrowful Mysteries, remembering those who died defending the United States and all of those lost to abortion since the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973.  Each of the fifty Hail Marys is said for one of America’s fifty states. St. Mark Parish will host another Patriotic Rosary after its 8:00 a.m. Mass on the Fourth of July to mark the end of this 14-day observation.
In conjunction with the Fortnight for Freedom, the Texas bishops also have two other special events scheduled for Monday, June 29, 20015.  The Episcopal Ordination and Installation of His Excellency The Most Rev. Brendan J. Cahill, S.T.D. as the third bishop of the Diocese of Victoria will be held at 2:00 p.m. in Our Lady of Victory Cathedral. Later that evening, Bishop Patrick J. Zurek of the Diocese of Amarillo will celebrate his 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 6:30 p.m. in St. Mary’s Cathedral.
These are just a few of the local events being held around the Lone Star State to observe this year’s Fortnight for Freedom.  You can locate other spiritual activities, as well as resources for marking the Fortnight at your home or local parish by going online towww.Fortnight4Freedom.org.