Festival For Freedom

First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Welcome to Festival For Freedom

Religous freedom “Festival for Freedom” originally was a 14-day gathering in June / July 2012 to focus on our First Amendment rights being violated by the Federal HHS mandate’s forcing insurance coverage for contraception, abortifacients and sterilization. That “Fortnight” was called by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to oppose these intrinsic evils attacking both conscience and religious freedom. Our successful FESTIVAL FOR FREEDOM, attended by over 500 people, heard many nationwide expert speakers teaching on American and Religious principles. We have continued to meet, track news and encourage each other in ongoing vigilance to protect our God-given rights, and the country’s moral fiber. We have added advocacy to our charter: “Protect the unborn, Defend marriage and Safeguard religious liberty.” We will continue to speak and work against intrinsic evils in our country’s laws. We thank those who regularly visit this website and support our goals.

Gov. Cuomo Waging War on the Unborn by Joe Fitzgerald


  • By Joe Fitzgerald; published in Daily Messenger, Canandaigua NY
  • Posted Jan. 22, 2015 at 3:44 PM
    Updated Jan 23, 2015 at 8:49 AMCanandaigua, N.Y.

    The recent Associated Press article in the Daily Messenger about the New York State Senate Republican majority once again not passing Gov. Cuomo’s pro-abortion bill quoted State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Westchester Democrat leader, as being highly critical of her Republican Senate colleagues for their vote to protect the unborn.

    In the interest of being fair and balanced (the AP article was not) Lori Kehoe, New York State Right to Life Executive Director states, “How many times do New Yorkers have to reject the radical agenda that would legalize abortion for any reason through all nine months? New York is already the abortion capital of the world, with no practical oversight of its abortion industry.”

    Gov. Cuomo, in supporting passage of his bill says, “New York State can do better. After all, it’s her body.” This, despite medical and scientific facts that from conception onward pregnancy involves two or more separate bodies. By doing better he not only means abortion on demand through nine months but also removing conscience protections for hospitals, medical professionals and other health care providers.  Forty-two years after Roe v. Wade (Jan 22, 1973) in this year 2015 we have monumentally greater knowledge about the baby in the womb than was known in the last century in the year 1973. We can now watch the baby during its gestation period through advances in ultrasound and other techniques.

    Remarkable advances in fetal surgery and other medical interventions are achieving truly miraculous results. Many medical professionals urge the use of fetal anesthesia because the fetus/baby experiences pain as early as 11 weeks. As this greater medical and scientific knowledge and the people’s “good conscience” about the pre-born has progressed, so also has state and federal legislation for the protection of this rapidly growing baby. One of many such bills is H.R. 36 Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

    Gov. Cuomo is following in the extreme pro-abortion footsteps of President Obama. They are truly waging a tyrannical war on the right to life of the unborn, and it must end.

    Joe Fitzgerald lives in Canandaigua.


Nothing changes if we don’t vote by Barbara Brooks

The following article appeared just before election day and was very timely:

Barb Brooks on Voting

Obama Can’t See Threats by Joe O’Mara

This is another guest essay from a Festival for Freedom Member, published in the Daily Messenger (Canandaigua):

Joe OMara on Obama cant see threats

Congratulations to Deacon Claude Lester

The person who conceived, inspired, led and was deeply committed to the Festival for Freedom response to the US Bishops’ first call (2012) to “Stand Up for Freedom” was Deacon Claude Lester.  The outstanding response saw more than 500 attendees at what was probably the only event in the US to respond with ALL TWO WEEKS of meaningful activity (see history and program and pictures elsewhere on this site.)

Two years later, the leader of that event has been recognized not only for his Festival for Freedom success, but also for incredible leadership ranging from funding a drinking water well for the people of Kalama, Kenya, to Community Health Initiatives right in Canandaigua NY.  For so much effort and success,  Deacon Claude was honored with the Consistent Life Ethic VITA Award (a lifetime achievement award) by Bishop Matano of the Diocese of Rochester, on June 4, 2014.  It was the first VITA awarded by the new Bishop of Rochester.

What follows is an excerpt from a recent awards program for Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes detailing a variety of such successes by Deacon Claude, and a testimony from the very people whom he led in the Festival for Freedom endeavors.  Below will be added pictures from the event as soon as they are available.

 Deacon Claude bio crop

Bishop Salvatore Matano,  Diocese of Rochester

Bishop Salvatore Matano,
Diocese of Rochester



Bishop Matano presents VITA Award to Deacon Claude Lester

Bishop Matano presents VITA Award to Deacon Claude Lester



Deacon Claude's Acceptance Speech, crediting everyone but himself.

Deacon Claude’s Acceptance Speech, crediting everyone but himself.

Deacon Claude Congrats crop

Contact Us

Festival For Freedom.
PO Box 196
Canandaigua, NY, 14424



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