S THE FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM comes to a close, we are reminded of the timeless and universal struggle for freedom of religious expression, freedom that comes from God alone. I recently had the privilege of leading the music for the Fortnight of Freedom’s opening mass in the Archdiocese of Boston. In his homily, His Eminence Seán Cardinal O’Malley made reference to President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address in which he said,“…belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”
Yet, as the founding Fathers of the United States of America fought for religious freedom, we thank all those who continue to fight for our freedom today. These heroes provide the very freedom that we enjoy and hold dear.
NTERESTINGLY, I HAPPEN TO LIVE about a mile away from “Peacefield,” the historic home of John and Abigail Adams. In 1870, John Adams famously wrote in a letter to his wife Abigail of the generational progression of study:
“I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”
As the grandson of a man who fought in World War I, I can certainly relate to Adams’ words. After the Great War, my grandfather came to the United States in 1919 giving up many years of his own happiness to take care of his family. He toiled for years to send money back home, and even waited seven years before returning to his home to marry his beloved Gilda, my grandmother — perhaps all so that someday I could study music. Grazie infinite, Antonio Pieretti!