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The Pastor's Desk

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time - We have now returned to Ordinary Time (counted Sundays) of the Church's calendar.  Jesus begins today's gospel with the bold statement, "fear no one".  Yet, in the next breath he tells us to "be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body".  Is Jesus contradicting himself?  Not really.  He is helping us to sort out the experience of fear.  We need not fear when we choose to live and "speak in the light" and acknowledge Jesus as Lord.  We  do need to fear when we choose infidelity and denial of Jesus in any form.  This death we ought to fear.  Fearless or fearful?  Which does our daily living reveal? 

Fortnight for Freedom - Catholic dioceses and parishes across the United States are once again encouraged to raise awareness for domestic and international religious freedom concerns during the sixth annual Fortnight for Freedom, June 21 - July 4. The two-week celebration will focus on the theme, "Religious Liberty, Our First Most Cherished Liberty" emphasizing the link between religious liberty and all other liberties we enjoy as Americans.

"During the Fortnight, our liturgical calendar celebrates great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power - St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul and the first martyrs of the Church of Rome," said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  "This is a time when Catholics can unite themselves in prayer to the men and women throughout history who spread the Gospel and lived out Jesus' call to serve the least of these' in even the direst of circumstances."

I hope you will inform yourselves of the issues at hand and join in our expression of diocesan unity during this time of prayer and action.  Further information is available on the United States Catholic Bishop's website (www.usccb.org or www.fortnight4freedom.org).  As we approach our Independence Day celebration may we do so with a renewed awareness of the great price that has been paid to maintain our freedoms. 

Peace and every blessing!

Fr. JohnFr. John