Today is the celebration of our country’s independence. It is a time to reflect on the many blessings of this country and all of the sacrifices it has made to preserve those blessings and gifts for succeeding generations. I have visited several countries in my lifetime and lived in two other countries for an extended period. While these countries are fantastic in history and art and were known for the great sacrifices for the faith, there is nothing quite like what the United States strives for in her founding documents.
To celebrate the birthday of this country, we will have an outdoor Mass on the Fox River. The program for the Mass will be called “Faith on the Fox” and I want to invite all of you to attend. We will be located at the Nicolet National Bank Plaza, near many of the other festivities in the area and right on the banks of the Fox River!
During this Mass, we will give thanks to God for all of his abundant blessings on our country, our state and on the diocese, parishes and all the people in the 16 counties that comprise the Diocese of Green Bay. We will also pray for the protection of the rights of the defenseless, the weak and the “huddled masses” who still want to come to this country. We will pray for the protection of religious liberty and freedom that enables us to worship God freely and to live out our faith by contributing to society, especially in care for the poor and the marginalized, and in the education and formation of our children and youth.
People in Wisconsin have a generous spirit and they act on those instincts by being generous in their care for others. Whether in military service or community outreach or countless ways of giving back and paying it forward, let us pray that we may continue to do so according to our principles which have served humanity for over 200 years and which this country has enshrined in our founding documents.
Have a great Fourth of July! Hope to see you there on the Fox River!