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Hudson & Fournier: Catholic Countdown to Election Day 2012, Election Day. The Return of Patriotism

By Deal W Hudson and Keith A Fournier
November 6th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

This surge of pride -- pride in the best sense -- could be seen and felt last night at a Mass for Religious Liberty in Wexford, PA, at Saints John and Paul Parish. Over 1,000 Catholics attended this specially schedule Mass on a chilly, pre-election evening to pray for what the pastor, Rev. Joseph McCaffrey, called "a return to the principles of the American Founding" and, in particular, a defense of religious liberty.

WEXFORD, PA (Catholic Online) - We have watched it grow steadily over the past few months -- a campaign that began with anxiety has blossomed into a celebration of our nation's core values.  In short, the events of one candidate espousing class warfare and resentment have dwindled in size and enthusiasm, while the candidate promising a return of American optimism and opportunity has watched his crowds quadruple and the cheering become deafening.

A majority of Americans want to reclaim pride in their nation, its legacy of freedom, and the central role that religious faith played in the Founding and growth towards the globe's moral, political, and economic leadership. 

This surge of pride -- pride in the best sense -- could be seen and felt last night at a Mass for Religious Liberty in Wexford, PA, at Saints John and Paul Parish. Over 1,000 Catholics attended this specially schedule Mass on a chilly, pre-election evening to pray for what the pastor, Rev. Joseph McCaffrey, called "a return to the principles of the American Founding" and, in particular, a defense of religious liberty.

This liturgy, celebrated in a beautiful new church dedicated two years ago, was one of the most powerful this writer has witnessed in over twenty years. The readings, including the Genesis account of the Fall, the homily, and the music were not only perfectly chosen but resoundingly delivered. After all stanzas of the final hymn, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," were sung, everyone present broke into spontaneous and sustained applause.

What were they clapping for? To thank "Father Mac" for celebrating a beautiful and touching liturgy? Yes, in part.  For the chance to sing throatily a great patriotic hymn that we so rarely hear in our churches anymore? Yes, in part. Most of all, they were clapping for the opportunity the parish had given them, with this special pre-election Mass, to say by their presence, we believe that God is watching over our nation, and we are joining together to watch and pray that Americans will vote to recover and reclaim their constitutional and spiritual roots.

At the end of the Mass, before the final prayer, Father McCaffrey reminded everyone, "Regardless of who wins tomorrow night, we shall still be here, as the Church, and we, as Americans, will still have our religious liberty because it is OURS." 

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