Vatican June 20, 2014 - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is marking the 2014 Fortnight for Freedom, with the theme of “Freedom to Serve,” from Saturday, June 21, to Friday, July 4. The theme of This year’s Fortnight focuses on the freedom to serve the poor and vulnerable in accord with human dignity and the Church’s teaching.

"People who value their Catholic faith will understand that there is an organic connection between what we believe and how we practice our faith in service well beyond the borders of the Church," William E. Lori of Baltimore told the Catholic News Service. "We want to be able to practice it unabashedly, whether in church or in the workplace or as part of Church ministry. We don't think we should have to compromise our beliefs in order to observe."

Archbishop Lori is chairman of the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

The two-week period is a time when the liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power, including St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, Sts. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.