The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have posted the themes for the annual Religious Freedom Week. It was formerly a Fortnight for Freedom, from June 22 to July 4, but it's shorter now. It still begins with the memorial of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More.
Here's what the USCCB posts about these martyrs this year:Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher were Renaissance men. Talented and energetic, they contributed to the humanist scholarship of early modern England. More wrote theological and philosophical treatises, while making a career as a lawyer and government official. Bishop John Fisher worked as an administrator at Cambridge, confronted the challenge Martin Luther presented to Christian Europe, and most importantly served as Bishop of Rochester. As a bishop, he is notable for his dedication to preaching at a time when bishops tended to focus on politics. These men were brilliant. They both corresponded with Erasmus, who helped Bishop Fisher learn Greek and Hebrew, and who also famously referred to More as a man for all seasons.
Above all their accomplishments, these men bore witness to a deep faith in Christ and his Church. More considered joining religious life and was assiduous in his devotional practices. As a married man, he committed himself wholly to his vocation as a father. At the time, disciplinary practices with children tended to be severe, but More’s children testify to his warmth, patience, and generosity.
St. John Fisher was a model shepherd and demonstrated remarkable humility. He remained in the small Diocese of Rochester his entire episcopal ministry, devoting himself to his local church rather than seeking promotion to a larger, more powerful diocese. . . .
If I see them in the near future on the shelves at Eighth Day Books, I may succumb to the temptation. I do have an older edition of Reynold's on Saint John Fisher, but a little Westie girl nimbled on it one time years ago. (Amanda must have known about what Francis Bacon said about books: “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”)