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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Festival for Freedom
Regnum Christi members help support local diocesan program for religious freedom in the state of New York

Cross and Flag

All Regnum Christi members are encouraged to go to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website about the upcoming Fortnight for Freedom and to support the activities of their local diocese.  Following is one example of the difference we can make.

Canandaigua, New York – In a picturesque area of New York State, a group including some of our own Regnum Christi members, are pooling their talents to fight for religious freedom.

Deacon Claude Lester of St. Mary Church in Canandaigua spearheaded the effort to unite people in western-central New York State who are concerned about threats to our First Amendment rights.

In conjunction with the call from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to observe the Fortnight for Freedom June 21 through July 4, the group has organized their own Festival for Freedom locally during the two-week period at the Notre Dame Retreat House at 5151 Foster Road in Canandaigua, New York.

In a letter to promote the Festival, Deacon Lester writes that the aim of the event is to create a “period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action [that] would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty.” He invites “all people of Faith who believe in our Bill of Rights and especially in the God-given right of Freedom of Religion…to participate, to enrich the discussion, and to share ideas and concerns.”

RC member Larry Jones, who is among the local event organizers along with his wife Rhonda, said, “This is an opportunity for us to put into action all that we have learned through Regnum Christi – to help change hearts to be open to God’s Word, to imitate Christ, to ‘live’ the importance of prayer as we prepare and present this event, and to do our best to discern God’s will.”

Other Regnum Christi members from Rochester through Syracuse are helping in many supportive ways, and prayers are being offered for this Festival around the country.

Each day during the two-week period the organizers will raise the American Flag together and lower it again before sunset.  Activities will include appearances from nationally-known and local speakers, as well as the premiere of the movie For Greater Glory on June 30, before the movie is available in local theaters. 

The festival organizers are grateful for an “incredible line-up of speakers” including author and apologist Father Peter Stravinskas, Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, ethicist and cultural analyst Dr. Pia de Solenni, representatives from the Becket Fund and Americans United for Life and the Prolife Action League, and many more.  There will also be musical and theatrical presentations, panel discussions and art seminars related to the topic. Daily Mass and Eucharistic Adoration will be the heart of the Festival.

Local Regnum Christi member Daniel Kane, a medical nuclear physicist and director of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights in Rome, Italy, will be presenting on the topics “Right vs. Wrong, Good vs. Bad, Knowing Where You Stand” and “The Slippery Slope: What’s been Passed and Where are We Going?”

For more information, visit  Click here for the calendar of events.  For more information, or to make a donation to support the program, contact Deacon Lester at



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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