A Day of Prayer and Fasting for Religious Liberty
Bishop to celebrate Mass March 30
Bishop David Zubik will celebrate the noon Mass Friday, March 30, at St. Mary of Mercy Church in Downtown Pittsburgh. His homily will center on the need to safeguard the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom against any infringement by the government.
As detailed in the letter below, the bishop is urging all Catholics in the six-county Diocese of Pittsburgh to observe a special day of fasting, abstinence and prayer March 30 as called for by all the bishops together in Pennsylvania.
“On that day, offer your sacrifice for the cause of religious liberty, that the church may be granted the basic right to practice what she preaches, and for our political leaders, that their eyes may be opened to the rights of all Americans, including those of faith,” according to the letter.
Similar to the observance of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, Catholics beginning at age 14 are asked to abstain from eating meat. The law of fasting (limiting oneself to one full meal and two lighter meals) obliges people between the ages of 18-59.
Office of the Bishop
March 14, 2012
My Dear Brother Priests and Deacons:
My Brothers in Christ, these are unprecedented times for us. Religiousfreedom is our heritage, our legacy and our firm belief, both as faithful Catholics and loyal Americans.The threats to our religious liberty are very real, possessing the potential to undermine our ministries of education, healthcare and social service.
During times of crisis, we turn to God with prayer and fasting. Each and every one of us is needed to do all we are able: prayer, fasting, abstinence and the exercise of faithful citizenship so that religious liberty is protected not just for Catholics, but for all Americans.
I join my fellow Bishops of Pennsylvania in requesting that all Catholics add fasting to their prayer and abstinence on Friday, March 30, 2012 for the preservation of religious freedom. Here in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, we join with over three million Catholics in Pennsylvania to mark this day of prayer and abstinence aided by fasting for religious liberty.
I will be celebrating Mass for this intention on Friday, March 30, at 12:00 noon, at Saint Mary of Mercy Church, Downtown. All are welcome to attend as a sign of our unity in prayer to preserve our nation’s first right: religious freedom.
Please share this information with your parishioners and enthusiastically encourage their fasting on March 30. Attached is a sample bulletin article, a flyer and a copy of the letter to the faithful of our State from the Bishops of Pennsylvania. I ask you please to utilize these resources to promote our day of prayer and fasting for religious liberty as much as possible. I am well aware that many parishes support Fish Frys on the Fridays of Lent. In light of this practice, I ask that you highlight for your people that fasting encompasses more than just giving up one’s intake of food. There are a host of many opportunities beyond culinary sacrifices that are available.
If you have further questions, please direct them to Mrs. Helene Paharik, Department for Human Dignity, by phone at 412-456-3156 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be assured of my remembrance of you in my daily prayers as we journey together this challenging Lenten road to Resurrection.
Grateful for our belief that “Nothing is Impossible with God,” I am
Your brother in Christ,
Most Reverend David A. Zubik
Bishop of Pittsburgh
cc: Deacon Alexander C. Wroblicky
Mrs. Helene E. Paharik
PRAY & FAST FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
The Bishops of Pennsylvania request that all Catholics dedicate the regular Lenten Friday practice of prayer and abstinence as well as the additional practice of fasting on Friday, March 30, to the preservation of religious liberty. On that day, join with the over 3 million Catholics in Pennsylvania to mark this day of prayer, fasting and abstinence so that the Church may be free to practice what we teach. Remember that fasting is more than just cutting back on eating. Fasting is the practice of giving up something to which we are attached (TV, texting, movies, smoking, etc.) so that we can become more aware of God and our need of Him. What might that be in your life? Are you willing to give it up especially on March 30?
|Religious Liberty.pdf||200.07 KB|
|Roman Catholic Statement - Day of Prayer, Fasting and Abstinence, March 30.pdf||124.41 KB|
|Statement - Day of Prayer Fasting and Abstinence March 30-SPANISH.pdf||127.46 KB|