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Fortnight gathering set for June 26

The Archdiocese of Omaha is planning a third annual Fortnight for Freedom prayer rally June 26 to draw attention to government actions that impact religious liberties, and people across the archdiocese are invited.

This year the focus will be "Freedom to Serve," emphasizing the link between religious liberty and service to the poor and vulnerable.

The archdiocese is lining up speakers who minister to the needy and can attest that religious freedom is foundational to their work, said Bill Beckman, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.

The event – 7 to 9:15 p.m. at St. Gerald Church in Omaha – will be similar to previous Fortnights with hymns, a rosary, speakers, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction and a homily by Archbishop George J. Lucas.

The archbishop and bishops across the United States are encouraging prayers, Masses and special events during the national June 21-July 4 Fortnight.

Fortnight events have been in response to government actions to redefine marriage and a Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate that health insurance plans – with a religious exemption church officials argue is too narrow – include coverage for contraception, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization procedures.