"We are Catholics. We are Americans. We are proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples, and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens. To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory, and should instead be complementary. That is the teaching of our Catholic faith, which obliges us to work together with fellow citizens for the common good of all who live in this land. That is the vision of our founding and our Constitution, which guarantees citizens of all religious faiths the right to contribute to our common life together. "
—Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, April 12, 2012
from Your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as Your people and given us the right and the duty to worship You, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ. Through the power and the working of your Holy Spirit, You call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.
We ask You to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of Your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in Your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome--for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us--this great land will always be "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Prayer and image: Copyright 2012, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.
"We must not be afraid of being Christian and living as Christians!
We must have this courage to go and proclaim the Risen Christ,
for He is our peace, He made peace with His love, with His forgiveness,
with His blood and with His mercy."
--Pope Francis, Regina Caeli, Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013