Renewing Our Legacy: March 23, 2012

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."

Renewing Our Legacy: March 23, 2012

At the request of the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) a show of solidarity against the HHS Mandate was made in more than 100 cities across the US.  (See below for objections to the Mandate.)

A silent procession was held on March 23, 2012 from the grounds of St. Mary Canandaigua to the Ontario County Courthouse, where Susan B. Anthony was tried and convicted of casting a vote, in a time when women did not have the right to vote.

One side of Ontario Co. Courthouse Sq.

Over 500 people attended the procession.  All the pictures and a DVD are shown in the gallery on the tool bar above.  Also please look at the Memory Book in the Gallery.  It will be available for sale during the Fortnight For Freedom on June 21-July 4th, and will help pay for the expenses of that event.

The lawn at St. Mary’s displayed nearly 100 religious freedom quotations with the source attributed, and for those in the procession to contemplate.  At approximately 11:45 AM the procession to the Courthouse began, and silent prayer was offered at 12:00 noon, prayer for preservation of religious freedom in this country.  All returned to St. Mary in silence, where some separately attended Mass offered by Fr. Mull, followed by Lenten Stations of the Cross.

A silent march is something quite different, and quite compelling.  Participants were specifically told:  “NO signs, banners, flags or posters in the procession,” and it seemed that everyone respected the request.  The lawn signage stayed in place for the next few days, until the rains came.

Many of those who participated wore or carried a  faith symbol in the procession (e.g. cross from a place of worship, a bible,  a religious object from home, or a personal religious item such as a rosary.)  One person carried a menorah.

Participants also received a commemorative button “RENEWING OUR LEGACY.”


These are the reasons given for this vital show of solidarity and support by the Bishops who unanimously opposed the HHS Mandate:

“We are showing our non-support of the mandate for the following reasons:

-the mandate does not permit “religious exemptions” (unless those agencies were  only staffed by members of a single faith tradition and  served only persons of  that one and same faith tradition).  Guided by fundamental principles to serve all in need, Catholic social service agencies, hospitals and universities would not be able to continue their ministry

-the mandate means that “freedom of conscience” is violated

-the mandate requires coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and devices, female surgical  sterilization, as well as contraception,

-the mandate requires that all people pay for services they consider immoral and against their conscience

-the mandate marks a change in our government’s posture of religious freedom as a fundamental right of all.”

We provide those resources below.  If you have time to read only one piece, might we suggest the four page March 2, 2012 letter from Cardinal Dolan, listed first among the resources.  If you have time to read a second, look at the March 14, 2012 statement from the administrative committee of USCCB.

Archbishop Dolan March 2 Letter

Adm. Cmte Statement March 14 2012

Press Release Feb 6 Six Things to Know

Feb 13 Six More Things to Know

Feb 10 Bishops Renew Call to Legislative Action

HHS Mandate Createds Absurd Results by Bishop Lori

Criminalizing Free Speech by J. Whitehead

Difference betwen Freedom of Religion and Freedom to Worship

Southern Baptist Press Release



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