For Immediate Release

Date:      June 11, 2014

Contact:  Anne Marie Cox (515) 237-5057



Fortnight for Freedom celebrated in Des Moines

Pray for religious liberty and the freedom to serve


     The Diocese of Des Moines is participating in the third annual Fortnight for Freedom, a national effort to advance a movement for life, marriage and religious liberty through prayer, penance and sacrifice.

            Locally, the fortnight will be marked with a holy hour, keynote speaker and reception beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 22 at St. Ambrose Cathedral. All are invited.

             The Fortnight for Freedom runs June 21-July 4 with the goal of emphasizing the fundamental right of religious freedom. The fortnight is held at "a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power - St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, Ss. Peter and Paul and the first martyrs of the Church of Rome," according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

            Current threats to religious freedom involve: the U.S. Department of Human Services' mandate for sterilization, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs; Catholic foster care and adoption services; state immigration laws that infringe on Christian charity and pastoral care; discrimination against small church congregations and Catholic humanitarian services; and Christian students on campus.

            Keynote speaker Omar Gutierrez, of the Archdiocese of Omaha, will talk in English and Spanish on the Church's social teaching and human dignity.

            "He was a natural fit for this year's theme, which is 'Freedom to Serve,'" said Adam Storey, diocesan director of Marriage and Family Life and a co-organizer of the event.

            "As we continue to fight for religious freedom, it's important to remember that we do so in order to better serve, and that this service flows out of faith in Jesus Christ," he said. "Omar will unpack the connections between our relationship with Christ and our mandate to serve the most vulnerable."

            For more information, go to or


The Diocese of Des Moines includes 81 parishes in 23 counties in central

 and southwest Iowa.





Anne Marie Cox

Office of Communications

Diocese of Des Moines



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