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Festival For Freedom

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Category: Front Page

Dear Friends of Freedom

Dear Friends of  Freedom,

ScreenShot040This website was established in the second quarter of 2012 to support the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ calling for a Fortnight for Freedom to oppose attacks on Freedom of Religion, especially attacks driven by the HHS mandate.  A year ago, in mid-June, 2012,  we were immersed in putting the final touches on the extraordinary fourteen day celebration called the   “FESTIVAL FOR FREEDOM.”  


For that first program, our group provided two full weeks of prayer, Daily Mass, daily Adoration,Resources FFF prominent speakers and showing the new release For Greater Glory to packed crowds. We heard outstanding talks by canon lawyers, social analysts, authors, theologians, scholars and lay witnesses from early morning into the evening.  By July 4, 2012, over seven hundred persons had attended one or more events of the Festival.  Many of those talks can be found on this website under “Media,” some in audio and others in video format, some as papers and some in pictures.  The extent of that program made it unique in the U. S.

This year, the Bishops have once again called for a Fortnight for Freedom, and many people expected our same group of volunteers, principally from the Canandaigua Community, to be offering another two week program.  We decided not to do so, and will share our reasons, since many have inquired “why not?”

  1. The 2012 Festival was a highly educative and formative experience, which is still available in large part on this website.  To draw a new group of  even 700 attendees in the same geographic area seems less likely, especially with our resources available on line for distance learning.  Given that local programs draw primarily from the local area, especially over a continuous and intense two week period, the organizing volunteers determined that Fortnight for Freedom activities in 2013 could be better carried out in other locations in the 12-county Diocese of Rochester.  However, as of this writing, the only event in the Rochester Diocese is the celebration of Eucharist on Friday, June 21 at Our Lady of Victory Church in downtown Rochester, to celebrate the Feast of the diocesan patrons St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. We do not know of additional programs in other diocesan locations.  We would gladly publicize, on this website, additional Fortnight for Freedom events if we are made aware of them.
  2. This dramatic shift from almost-all to almost-nothing is not a reflection of the issues spoken and reflected upon a year ago having been resolved or gone away.  The original organizing group itself has transitioned through that education and conscience formation experience to an advocacy position.  Simply put, it is time to bring learning to action, which is as important in New York State as at the national level, and where perhaps we can have even more impact.  In the last year we have evolved from an event-planning group to an advocacy group which sees  three critical issues as integral to a well-formed, comprehensive advocacy approach for the well-being of our Church, society and nation:  “protecting the unborn,” “defending marriage” and “safeguarding religious liberty.”  
  3. Our Advocacy in New York State this year has been to combat the immediate threat of!cid_ii_13e14aec2a56e82f Governor Cuomo’s forcing upon the people of NYS unreasonable and insensitive expansion of abortion under the guise of women’s health and equality.  Most of the proposed bill seems to be minor tweaking of various ‘other’  factors, to cloak the threat of infanticide.  Those who have moved to a position of acting on their own consciences had to choose their advocacy priorities, and stopping Cuomo’s threat against women and babies became our highest priority, no matter how long the odds.  Members of the prior organizing group for Festival for Freedom have garnered petitions, chartered buses to Albany for protests, and organized writing campaigns to state legislators.
  4. Another difficulty in conducting a program in any way analogous to the 2012 program is compounded by the Diocese of Rochester’s being  ‘in sede vacante’, i.e. under the administration of an Apostolic Administrator, but with a Bishop expected to be named imminently.  Not forging ahead  with even a reduced Festival for Freedom program reflects our awaiting the naming and installation of a new Bishop for the Diocese of Rochester, so that we can serve him in a meaningful spirit of collaboration to further these goals. 
  5. Further, there are local pastoral changes which have also complicated the ability to conduct such an expensive and complex program at this time, in anticipation of the arrival of a new pastor during the Fortnight period.button2_small2

We hope that these words will assure visitors to this website and supporters of the same goals of our on-going commitment to the issues, emphasizing the priority we have assigned to NYS threats, and our willingness to encourage and support others in their executing events in a Fortnight for Freedom program, now and in the future.


Giving Thanks to God


from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 


in daily Mass chapel

St. Mary Church,

95 North Main Street

Canandaigua, New York


–give God due thanksgiving and praise for recent events in Albany which have blocked

(for the time being) any expansion of abortion in New York State

(We will begin with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at  10 AM)


–be strengthened and led by the Holy Spirit

(We will use the Spirit prayer prayed on the June 12 trip to Albany)


–discuss summer activities to continue the work which lies ahead

(We will begin to look at possible strategies to further transform our own hardness of heart and the hardness of those around us)


–pray our blessings for God’s continued graces

(We will conclude with Benediction)



RESERVATIONS ARE NOT NECESSARY.  If you have any questions in advance of the gathering, please feel free to contact Deacon Claude   (585) 394-1220, ext 15.   If you are unable to attend this session, but have input to share with the group (especially on summer activities) please send this along to Deacon Claude in advance of the meeting so he can share your comments with all) 


Launching the 2013 Fortnight for Freedom

In the Rochester area, the 2013 Fortnight for Freedom will be launched on Friday, June 21, with a Mass to celebrate the Diocese of Rochester’s patron saints, St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More.

The Mass is being sponsored by:



The St. Thomas More Lawyers Guild of Rochester, and

The New York State Knights of Columbus Finger Lakes Chapter


Invite the community to prayer at the Fortnight for Freedom Mass

“All that you ask for in prayer…shall be yours” ( Mark 12:24)

On the Feast days of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher

To pray for the intention

of Religious Freedom

Friday, June 21, 2013 at 12:10 noon

 at Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph Church

210 Pleasant Street, Rochester N.Y. 14604

Father Ronald Antinarelli, KCHS- Celebrant and Homilist

What did the Unborn do to Deserve Cuomo et al?

Under the guise of Women’s Health Care, the Governor of New York State and his backers in the State Senate and Assembly are fostering a war on the unborn which is a straight path to infanticide.  Besides permitting abortion up to the time of birth, and hiding decisions of the young from their parents, the Cuomo-driven legislation would allow people who are not doctors to commit abortions.  

Remember:  A Rosary a Day keeps Cuomo Away!

Candidate for President 2016 Legislative Gosnell?

Candidate for President 2016
Legislative Gosnell?

Dismembered Babies

This is being written the day after Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of murder.  The horror stories of dismembered unborn, nearly born and actually born babies have filled the news.  Even people who say they support abortion are scandalized and horrified at what Gosnell has been found guilty of perpetrating.  He clearly has blood on his hands, but what the NYS Governor, Senate and Assembly intend to do, with ink on their hands, may not be all that much different.  If the atrocity is committed with surgical instruments or with death-driven laws, isn’t the result the same?   If Gosnell had perpetrated his horrors in NYS next year, would he be “not guilty?”  Has destroying the unborn become the new rite of passage to the White House?


The big mystery is why so many politicians are standing in line to dip their hands in Cuomo’s ink, and to share his guilt, and why so many lack the courage to “just say no!”

Best of the Editorials for LIFE in NYS

If you have written an editorial or letter to the editor in favor of LIFE, opposing Gov. Cuomo’s expansion of abortion in all its horrificc forms, please scan and send a copy to for the possibility to include on this website.  Similarly, if you have pictures of an exhibit at your church or in the public square which opposes the Cuomo expansion of abortion, please send us those pictures to publish.  Thank you.

Today we present the nominee, Dr. Rhonda Jones, whose Guest Essay was reprinted in the Daily Messenger newspaper in Canandaigua, NY. 

Albany Vigil Issues by Rhonda crop

Contact Us

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


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