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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."

The First Amendment of the US Constitution


Why Religious Freedom?

marchforlifeMarch for Life, Washington DC, 2013"... the exercise of freedom is intimately linked to the natural moral law, which is universal in character, expresses the dignity of every person and forms the basis of fundamental human rights and duties: consequently, in the final analysis, it forms the basis for just and peaceful coexistence." (Pope Benedict XVI)

Religious liberty has been the cornerstone of our country, it was so important that it was framed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The vision held by our Founding Father was for a separation of Church and State so that religious freedom could be ensured.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that all men are bound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and that no one may be forced to act against his convictions, nor restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public. This right is based on the very nature of the human person. (cf. 2106)

In a message during the World Day of Peace, 2011, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had this to say:

"Religious freedom expresses what is unique about the human person, for it allows us to direct our personal and social life to God, in whose light the identity, meaning and purpose of the person are fully understood. To deny or arbitrarily restrict this freedom is to foster a reductive vision of the human person; to eclipse the public role of religion is to create a society which is unjust, inasmuch as it fails to take account of the true nature of the human person; it is to stifle the growth of the authentic and lasting peace of the whole human family."

Our roots, both civic and religious recall that we are a people guided by the loving providence of God. Yet, little by little our First Amendment rights have come into question by our civil authorities. The Constitution has been interpreted to mean God, religious conviction and morality have no place in public life or public policy. Does this build a society of goodwill among all people when the society admits of no spiritual principle of integrity or no moral bond of cohesion?

During this time when our Religious Liberty is threatened by new mandates from our government leaders, let us pray for the guidance and wisdom of God for our nation's governing body, and the courage to stand up for and defend the truths of our faith. In God We Trust!


STATEMENT REGARDING THE HHS MANDATE

flag02In union with the Catholic Bishops of the United States, the Sisters of Our Mother of Divine Grace join with other citizens, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, in calling upon our government to protect and defend the rights and freedoms upon which our nation was founded. We believe that our first and most fundamental freedom, the right to religious liberty and freedom of conscience, is gravely violated by the ruling announced by the Department of Health and Human Services. The accommodation later announced by President Obama neither respects nor safeguards our rights or the rights of others.

We join our bishops, other religious leaders and concerned citizens in calling for the mandate to be rescinded and for the broadening of a religious exemption. In love for our country, we continue to pray for a renewed zeal for truth and for the preservation of our God'given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that are integral to our identity as a nation. In His mysterious Providence, may God be at work in this critical moment in our history to "make all things new" (cf. Revelation 21:5)

Please join us in asking the protection of God upon our country, and the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, patroness of America, in defending, supporting, and and maintaining our freedom of conscience.

For more information on how you can actively get involved in promoting religious freedom through prayer and other good works, check out the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's website.

Prayer to Mary

mary

O GOD OUR CREATOR,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord.
Amen.