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."

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

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



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