Archbishop Alexander Sample has asked priests of the Archdiocese of Portland to help the Catholic community focus efforts during an upcoming two weeks of prayer for religious liberty.

The U.S. bishops have called for a second Fortnight for Freedom, set for June 21-July 4. Archbishop Sample called the period "a great hymn of prayer for our country."

The first fortnight last year was sparked by requirements in the new federal health law that would force some Catholic entities to cooperate in providing contraception to employees. The movement has expanded to include threats to religious freedom from any source.  

"To be Catholic and American should mean that our allegiances, while distinct, should be complementary," said an email from the archbishop's office. It urged pastors to arrange special events in parishes and vicariates in cooperation with other Christians and people of other faiths.

The email included links to material for an ecumenical prayer service, intercessory prayers, scripture passages to fit the theme and homily suggestions. It also offered a study guide for parishioners to explore Dignitatis Humanae, the Second Vatican Council's declaration on religious freedom.