Parental Rights and Christianity in Lebanon focus of Archdiocesan Religious Freedom Week activities

A talk on parental rights and religious freedom and a separate event focusing on Christianity in Lebanon are the highlights of Religious Freedom Week (June 22 – June 29) in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops designated the annual commemoration of religious liberty which begins on the Memorial of English martyrs St. Thomas More and St. John Fischer and concludes on the Memorial of Sts Peter and Paul.

On June 23, at 6 p.m., at St. Dunstan Catholic Church in Millbrae, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will join Father Armando Elkhoury of the Maronite Church of Our Lady of Lebanon for vespers. Father Elkhoury is the acting pastor at the parish as well as the vice rector of the Maronite Our Lady of Lebanon Seminary in Washington, D.C. Vespers will be followed by a reception and a talk by Father Elkhoury on “The Maronite Church, the Heartbeat of the Christians in the Middle East: History and Importance.”

A day earlier, on June 22 at 6 p.m. at Mater Dolorosa Church in South San Francisco, two experts will present on “Parental Rights and Religious Freedom: Where do we stand? What can we do?” Lance Christensen is vice president of the California Policy Center and Ryan Mayor is the director of Catholic Identity and Formation for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.  “A lot of parents don’t know their own rights,” Mayer said, noting Catholic social teaching says the state has an obligation to help parents pay for their children’s education. “So, if you come to this event, you will learn a little bit more about that,” Mayer said.