By Bonnie Toombs
The faithful of the Diocese of Wichita are invited later this month to join Catholics from across the United States to pray and act in support of religious liberty at home and abroad.
Serving Others in God’s Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018 begins Friday, June 22 on the Feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, and ends Friday, June 29, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
This year’s theme is “Serving Others in God’s Love.” Religious freedom is necessary if we are to continue to serve in areas like education, adoption and foster care, healthcare, and migration and refugee services.
As part of the commemoration, a rosary will be led by Bishop Carl A. Kemme at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 22, on the southeast corner of the U.S. Courthouse, 401 N. Market, in Wichita. At 5:30 p.m. that day, St Catherine of Siena Parish will host a Mass and Eucharistic Procession for Religious Liberty. Afterward, all are invited to join in watching the movie Paul: Apostle of Christ at the parish.
Prayer for religious freedom continues on Tuesday, June 26, when the Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 5:30 p.m. at the Spiritual Life Center. On Friday, June 29, the diocese is hosting a day of service with opportunities to join together for work projects from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call the office at 316-269-3935 to sign up for the day of service.
All parishes are invited to host activities in support of Religious Freedom during the week. It is a special time for us to reflect on the importance of religious freedom so that the church will continue to have the ability to carry out her mission of service and mercy.
The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, said: “Religious freedom allows the space for people of faith to serve others in God’s love in ministries like education, adoption and foster care, healthcare, and migration and refugee services. We encourage people of faith to reflect on the importance of religious freedom so that we might have the space to carry out our mission of service and mercy, and we invite everyone to pray for our brothers and sisters who face intense persecution in other parts of the world.”
The USCCB said Religious Freedom Week has replaced the Fortnight for Freedom to center the event around the feast days of saints who bore particular witness to religious liberty and for other reasons. Resources for Religious Freedom Week and other religious liberty resources can be found at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek and www.usccb.org/freedom.
Toombs is director of the diocesan office of Respect Life and Social Justice Office.

Want to participate in the day of service?
Those who wish to take part in the day of service on Friday, June 29, may call 316-269-3935 or email toombsb@CatholicDioceseOfWichita.org.

Bishop Kemme to lead rosary June 22
Bishop Carl A. Kemme will lead a rosary to kick off the week at 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 22, on the southeast corner of the U.S. Courthouse, 401 N. Market, in Wichita.