Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill
Menu

Fortnight for Freedom kicks off with ‘walk of gratitude’

CHARLESTON—The Diocese of Charleston launched its Fortnight for Freedom celebration with a Eucharistic procession that had about 500 people pouring out of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and onto the streets.

Led by Msgr. Steven L. Brovey and Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, the congregation walked down Meeting and King Streets singing hymns all the way to the Battery, where an altar was set up for a short service under the blazing morning sun.

Participants called it a walk of gratitude, noting that it was an opportunity to appreciate what religious freedom is and live it beyond the walls of the church.

“To bring our faith out on the street freely is a joy that we have to fight for,” said Kathy Schmugge, assistant director of the family life office and co-coordinator of the event.

The June 23 procession was part of a kickoff event that started with evening Mass on June 22 followed by all-night Eucharistic adoration. The

Fortnight for Freedom runs June 21 to July 4 and was called for by the U.S. bishops as a prayerful time to raise awareness about the threats to religious freedom.

In a document titled “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty” the bishops note specific examples of how our first amendment right is under attack on a bi-partisan level.

For Catholics, the most imminent threat is a mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that all employer-provided health insurance plans cover, without deductibles or co-pays, government-approved forms of birth control, including abortifacients and sterilization.

Another major controversy involves state immigration laws. Several states have passed laws that forbid what the government deems “harboring” of undocumented immigrants — and what the Church deems Christian charity and pastoral care.

Other state laws impacting religious freedom have touched on everything from church structure to who can meet on a school campus. For a full list, read the bishops’ statement at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/our-first-most-cherished-liberty.cfm.

It is the continual erosion of religious freedom that has brought the faithful together in ecumenical protest.

John and Mary Sprague, Episcopalians from Savannah, Ga., said it is not just a Catholic issue. They were out for a walk when they saw the procession and decided to join in.

“The freedom to worship our God — how thankful I am to do so with my sisters and brothers in Christ,” Mrs. Sprague said.

People stopped to watch the group process by, but there were no protestors.

Upon reaching the altar, part of the group kneeled in the hot road while others took refuge in the shade, joining their voices in the Litany for Liberty.

Bishop Guglielmone urged everyone to continue those prayers for the next two weeks and into the future.

“We must come together in peace and pray for the freedoms we all enjoy,” he said.






  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Oct 13 Diocesan Evangelization Conference
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Oct 278:00 am Day of Continuing Education for Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Nov 1 Black Catholic History Month
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Nov 1010:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 1210:00 am Junta Diocesana
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate