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On the Journey - Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Each year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us the importance of defending our religious freedom. From June 21st to July 4th Catholics are called to take part in the Fortnight for Freedom. Resources on How to Talk About Religious Freedom are available online at www.usccb.org where you can also find ways to get involved.

The U.S. Bishops encourage all citizens to keep in mind that "if religious liberty is not respected, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that the Church and other people of faith make every day, both here at home and overseas".

"Religion cannot be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life". -Pope Francis, Evangelii Gudiium, 183

Below are a few excerpts from the Religious Freedom guide which you can download from: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/how-to-talk-about-religious-freedom.cfm

"Many religious freedom skeptics have plausible concerns. For example, they are concerned that all people should be treated with equal dignity. Indeed, the dignity of all people is the foundation for Catholic teaching on religious liberty. It is important that we not dismiss skeptics, but rather, that we listen to their concerns and take them seriously".

"Religious freedom is a fundamental right. It means that the government cannot coerce people into acting against their consciences".

"People of faith need religious freedom to have the space to serve others. Oftentimes, religious liberty disputes arise when religious organizations are expected to sacrifice aspects of their faith in order to continue to serve the surrounding community. But it is our faith that inspires us to serve. Take the Little Sisters of the Poor, who live out their Christian faith by serving the elderly poor".

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Today’s Gospel talks about the apostles’ reaction when Jesus told them that he would be going away for a while. Though they had been following Jesus, listening to his teachings and seeing his works for three years, they did not understand why he was leaving or where he was going.

As we listen to the apostle’s dialog with Jesus, notice the fear and confusion in their questions. Through history people have been fearful of uncertainty, and confused by occurrences they do not understand. Fear and confusion are something most of us experience in life, especially when faced with unexpected situations. As Christians, we ask God for help and pray to him in Jesus’ name.

Today, we are reminded that “the way” to God is through Jesus. We are to follow Jesus’ teachings, to live our lives as He did: loving all our brothers and sisters with no exception and doing good works. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. John 14:6

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski