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Archbishop of Oklahoma City calls Catholics to prayer

The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, is among U.S. Catholic bishops participating in a new initiative aimed at continuing prayer and special activities aimed at fighting threats to religious liberty, among other concerns.
by Carla Hinton Modified: January 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm •  Published: January 19, 2013

“We wanted to sustain attention on what we recognize are some very, very timely issues,” he said of the new initiative.

“We're concerned about our religious liberty being threatened by the HHS mandate, and we're also concerned about the confusion there seems to be about the very definition of what marriage is and the continuing threats against human life and dignity.”

Coakley said archdiocesan parish members have mostly responded well to the new initiative. He said some people have shared their comments about the new faith effort on his Facebook page.

He said the “Call to Prayer” initiative has several components. They are:

• Parishes are urged to have a monthly Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty now until Nov. 24, Christ the King Sunday.

• Families and individuals are encouraged to pray the daily rosary devotion, particularly for the preservation of life, marriage and religious liberty.

• Sunday and daily Masses are to include a special prayer focus for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life and the preservation of religious liberty in America and around the globe.

• Individuals are encouraged to abstain from meat and to fast on Fridays as a prayer focus for the protection of life, marriage and religious liberty.

• Another national Fortnight of Freedom will be held at the end of June and the beginning of July, emphasizing marriage in the wake of possible Supreme Court rulings regarding marriage. The 2013 Fortnight of Freedom also will focus on the Aug. 1 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, as well as other concerns like immigration.

Coakley said a Web page with the “Call to Prayer” plan may be viewed at

“This is really a call to focused prayer and fasting,” he said of the initiative.

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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