The goal of the event, according to Zeuske, is to unite people and increase awareness in the fight to stop the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that forces all employer health plans to include free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs regardless of religious beliefs.
Local events planned
Two events related to Fortnight for Freedom are planned in the Diocese of Green Bay.
• On June 24, an ecumenical prayer service will be held at St. Joseph’s Chapel on the diocesan campus in Allouez at 4 p.m. A reception will follow in the Chancery.
• On July 4, Bishop David Ricken will conclude the two-week observance by celebrating Mass at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay at 8:30 a.m.
“It’s important to step up our protest and our opposition,” said Zeuske. “The language inside that bill redefines religious freedom. It narrows it down to a house of worship and doesn’t account for hospitals, universities and schools.”
The Knights of Columbus Honor Guard will post the colors to begin the rally, which will be held rain or shine. Flags and prayer cards will be distributed. Patriotic songs will be performed by Kelly Haddad. Fr. Jewel Aytona, a Father of Mercy who serves as chaplain at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, will speak about religious freedom. Dr. Duke Pesta, a professor at UW-Oshkosh, will discuss the mandate in a historical context. Music will close the rally, but participants may stay to pray the rosary.
“I encourage families to attend,” said Zeuske. “I think it’s important that children see the attack on the First Amendment and see this public witness.”
For more information, go to www.standupforreligiousfreedom.com.