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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

The Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Today we celebrate the mystery of the Holy Trinity, one God in three persons. This week we have also returned to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. However, this Sunday and the next, are solemnity Sundays --special days that call our attention central mysteries of our Catholic faith.

Today’s Gospel calls our attention to the actions of God revealed in three persons: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God the Father sent his Son, Jesus, into the world to save us through his death and resurrection. In turn, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith in God and so that his love for us would also be strengthened.

Earlier this week, Pope Francis asked people of all faiths to come together in prayer for world peace. I ask all of you to include the Holy Father’s request for prayer in your personal intentions for today and for every day. May the Holy Trinity grant peace to the whole world. May God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit heal the wounds of war and terrorism. Let us pray for the victims of violent acts and their families.

On the journey,
Fr. Dennis G. Lewandowski