WASHINGTON - The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), at its March 13-14 meeting in Washington, called for a nationwide prayer campaign for protection of religious freedom and conscience rights from several threats, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate that forces employers, including religious ones, to provide contraception/sterilization in their health plans.
"We call upon the Catholic faithful, and all people of faith, throughout our country to join us in prayer and penance for our leaders and for the restoration of our First Freedom-religious liberty-which is not only protected in the laws and customs of our great Nation, but rooted in the teachings of our great Tradition," the bishops said in "United for Religious Freedom" a March 14 statement. "Prayer is the ultimate source of our strength-for without God, we can do nothing; but with God, all things are possible."
To support the effort, the USCCB has posted prayer resources at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/resources-on-conscience-protection.cfm.
The heart of the campaign is a new "Prayer for Religious Liberty" prayer cards, in English and Spanish, and available electronically. They can be downloaded and printed locally. Bulk packages of prayer cards will soon be available. English-language prayer cards feature the image of Mary Immaculate; Spanish-language cards feature Our Lady of Guadalupe. They may be ordered at www.usccbpublishing.org and ready for shipping in April.
The full text of "United for Religious Freedom," prayer campaign resources, and related  information on religious liberty and conscience rights, are at www.usccb.org/conscience.