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Diocese of Rockville Centre

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Home 2013 Press Releases Fortnight For Freedom
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•    Bishop Murphy to celebrate Opening Mass in Cathedral on June 21
•    Religious Liberty Rally on June 29
•    Bishop Brennan to celebrate Closing Mass on July 4 in Cathedral

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – May 6, 2013

The Fortnight for Freedom,  an effort kicked off last year by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), will take place again this year from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of Saint  John Fisher and Saint Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, 2013.

Last year, there was a great diversity of national and local events promoting religious freedom across the country.  In 2013, we face many challenges to religious liberty, including the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate; potential Supreme Court rulings that could redefine marriage in June, causing serious religious liberty issues for Catholic adoption agencies and many others; and religious liberty concerns in other areas, such as immigration and humanitarian services.

To open the Fortnight for Freedom in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Bishop William Murphy will celebrate a special Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes on Friday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m. 

Then a Religious Liberty Rally will take place at Saint John the Baptist Diocesan High School on Saturday, June 29 from 10:00 – 1:00 p.m.  The rally will feature many speakers, including Bishop Murphy.  Final plans are now underway for this event.

To close out the fortnight on July 4, 2013, a closing Mass will be celebrated at 12:10 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes by Bishop Robert Brennan, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  

During the Fortnight, the liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—Saint  John the Baptist, Saints Peter and Paul, the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome, Saint John Fisher and Saint Thomas More.
Through prayer, study, and peaceful public action during the Fortnight for Freedom, we hope to remind ourselves and others all throughout the United States about the importance of preserving the fundamental right of religious freedom.

Visit the diocesan website (,, the Diocesan Facebook page and your parish bulletin for details concerning these and other fortnight events.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up a website for more information about the Fortnight for Freedom, visit:  Please join the Fortnight for Freedom Facebook Page so you can stay up to date on the latest Fortnight for Freedom 2013 news!

About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre ( was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  The diocese serves approximately 1,544,167 baptized Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million).  There are 134 parishes (1 campus parish) in 115 towns.  In 2012, 15,606 baptisms, 15,366 confirmations, 16,374 First Holy Communions and 3,193 marriages took place in the diocese.  

There are 18,496 students in Catholic elementary schools; 12,328 students in Catholic high schools and 3,500 students in higher institutions. There are 53 Catholic elementary schools (49 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan, 2 parish and 5 private) and one Catholic college (Molloy College, Rockville Centre) in the diocese.  Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island is comprised of six hospitals, three nursing homes, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for persons with special needs.  More than 17,500 employees and 4,600 credentialed physicians work within the CHS system.   In 2011, Catholic Charities assisted more than 59,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island.  (04/13).