Religious Freedom Week 2019: Strength in Hope takes place from June 22 to 29.  The Week begins with the Feast of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, ends with the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, and includes the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  This year’s Religious Freedom Week is also notable in that it includes the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) and the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The theme for this year is Strength in Hope. It is taken from the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity:

“They who have this faith live in the hope of the revelation of the sons of God and keep in mind the cross and resurrection of the Lord. In the pilgrimage of this life, hidden with Christ in God and free from enslavement to wealth, they aspire to those riches which remain forever and generously dedicate themselves wholly to the advancement of the kingdom of God and to the reform and improvement of the temporal order in a Christian spirit. 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).

Catholics face challenges both in our current political climate of polarization and within the Church.  We want to encourage Catholics to persist in the struggle to participate in the advancement of the kingdom of God by finding hope in Jesus Christ.

During Religious Freedom Week, Catholics are encouraged to pray and act each day for religious freedom.  Use the Pray-Reflect-Act series provided by the USCCB, which aims to help Catholics build solidarity with people of faith who are persecuted abroad and find strength to carry out the mission of the Church here in the United States.

To learn more about Religious Freedom Week 2019, visit http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/religious-freedom-week/index.cfm.