The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, encourages Catholics to pray and act in support of religious liberty at home and abroad during Religious Freedom Week 2019, which begins on June 22, the Feast of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, and ends on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The theme for this year, Strength in Hope, is taken from the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity: “Among the trials of this life they find strength in hope, convinced that ‘the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us’ (Rom. 8:18)” (Apostolicam actuositatem, 4).
Archbishop Kurtz stated: “Catholics face challenges both in our current political climate of polarization and within the Church. Christian child welfare institutions and Catholics in public life are encountering significant obstacles to their work, while our brothers and sisters in places like Nigeria suffer violent persecution. We want to build solidarity and to encourage Catholics to persist in the struggle to advance the kingdom of God by finding hope in Jesus Christ.”
Resources for Religious Freedom Week and other religious liberty resources can be found at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek and www.usccb.org/freedom. Video can be found at bit.ly/RFW2019Vid. Social media posts will use the hashtag #StrengthInHope.