The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), gathering for its March 2012 meeting, called for a nationwide prayer effort to support the ongoing struggle to protect religious freedom and conscience rights from various threats, including the coercive HHS contraception/sterilization mandate.
“Most importantly of all, we call upon the Catholic faithful, and all people of faith, throughout our country to join us in prayer and penance for our leaders and for the restoration of our First Freedom–religious liberty–which is not only protected in the laws and customs of our great Nation, but rooted in the teachings of our great Tradition. Prayer is the ultimate source of our strength–for without God, we can do nothing; but with God, all things are possible.”
The bishops have noted with gratitude the great support from the laity and the spontaneous outpouring of prayer from so many parishes, organizations, associations, and individuals. The bishops seek to encourage that effort with new prayer resources posted at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/resources-on-conscience-protection.cfm.
The heart of this prayer effort is the new “Prayer for Religious Liberty” prayer card. The Administrative Committee, made up of the officers, regional representatives, and chairmen of every USCCB committee, offered this prayer together at the opening of their meeting, emphasizing the importance of the effort.
The prayer cards (English and Spanish) are now electronically available with several different images. These can be downloaded and printed locally. Bulk packages of printed prayer cards will soon be available featuring Mary Immaculate in English and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spanish. Prayer cards can be ordered at www.usccbpublishing.org and should be ready for shipping in early April.
To mobilize Catholics in this sustained effort of prayer, please share these prayer resources with your parishes, Catholic organizations and agencies as quickly as possible. For additional resources and information on the bishops’ efforts to protect religious liberty and conscience rights, visit www.usccb.org/conscience.