The final day of the Fortnight for Freedom was marked in Rockland by the ringing of the church bells at noon and a “Mass for Life and for America” at the Marian Shrine in Stony Point. For more photos, click here.
The mass and Eucharistic Adoration that preceded it were planned by the Helpers of God’s Precious Infants.
Celebrant Rev. Bill Bucciferro, SDB, of the Marian Shrine, welcomed the crowd of more than 300, wishing them a Happy Independence Day.
“We’re Catholic and American,” he said later in his homily. “We love our faith. And we love being American.”
Today our faith is being tested, Fr. Bill continued, as religious freedom, which is for all people, is under attack. He said we must each respond in our own way, asking the Lord to guide us and give us the courage to stand up and proclaim Him in the world. And we must respond to the love of Mary who assures us that we are all children of God and asks us to “Listen to my Son.”
Fr. Bill quoted from Archbishop William E. Lori’s homily, delivered at his installation as Archbishop of Baltimore last May:
We do not seek to defend religious liberty for partisan or political purposes, as some have suggested. No, we do this because we love human dignity, which was fashioned and imparted not by the government, but by our Creator. We defend religious liberty because we love every human person, seeing in the face of every man and woman the face of Christ, who loved us to the very end and who calls on us to love and serve our neighbors with the same love he has bestowed on us.
And we do this because we seek to continue serving those in need while contributing to the common good in accord with the Church’s social teaching, and to do so with compassion and effectiveness.
Concelebrating the mass were Rev. Nicholas Callahan of St. Margaret of Cortona in the Bronx, Rev. Jim McKenna, Director of the Marian Shrine, and Fr. Richard Crager, also of the Marian Shrine.
Music for the mass was provided by Eileen Peterson and friends, and Monica Peterson was the song leader.
After the mass concluded there was a reception and luncheon at the Fr. John Lomagno Hall, next to the Shrine church.