Fourth of July

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Dozens of American flags flap in the breeze outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Scottsdale in November as a tribute to the country’s veterans. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

A couple of local suggestions for celebrating the Fourth of July with fellow Americans and fellow Catholics:

Fortnight for Freedom rally — 7-8:30 p.m. July 3 at St. Steven Parish in Sun Lakes. Procession from parking lot followed by brief lay talk, rosary and refreshments. Details.

Dramatic performance: Maximillian: Saint of Auschwitz — 7:30 p.m. July 3 at Mount Claret Retreat Center. This St. Luke Productions brings the story of St. Maximillian Kolbe, a journalist and concentration camp martyr, to life. About the saint. Details about the event.

Mass and Rosary for the United States — 8:30 a.m. July 4 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. Bishop Eduardo A. Nevares will celebrate Mass and lead the rosary. This marks the diocesan conclusion of the Fortnight for Freedom. Event flyer.

If you find yourself home or celebrating at someone else’s house, Catholic News Service suggests the following television programming. Note that times listed are Pacific Time, which includes Arizona:

“Closing Mass for the Fortnight for Freedom (Live)” — 9-10:30 a.m. July 4 on EWTN. From Washington’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington and homilist Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia celebrate Mass concluding the “fortnight for freedom,” a special period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action.

“1776” — 2-5 p.m. July 4 on TCM. This entertaining 1972 screen version of the popular Broadway musical by Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone about the travails of the Continental Congress in forging the Declaration of Independence utilizes most of the original cast from William Daniels’ John Adams to Howard Da Silva’s Benjamin Franklin. Director Peter Hunt, who also directed the stage musical, relies on the original staging rather than trying for any big-screen effects and it works well in mixing some light, diverting entertainment with some serious asides, such as slavery and marital loneliness. The Catholic News Service classification of the theatrical version was A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating was G — general audiences. All ages admitted.

“A Capitol Fourth (2012)” — 5-6:30 p.m. July 4 on PBS.  Television personality Tom Bergeron hosts this live broadcast from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Performers include Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, country music star Josh Turner, R&B stars Kool & the Gang and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jack Everly. Additionally, Academy Award-winner John Williams conducts his “Olympic Fanfare” (TV-G — general audience).
Celebration’s website offers a history lesson, livestream and chance to share photos from your celebration.

“The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” — 7-8 p.m. July 4 on CBS. Live broadcast of the annual concert by the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart. Actress and singer Jennifer Hudson will also perform; actor Michael Chiklis hosts. Event website.

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