On April 9, 2013, Catholics from across the state joined in a rally hosted by our Texas Bishops to promote our Church's values of Life, Justice, Charity, and Religious Freedom to the 83rd Texas Legislature.
Eleven Catholic Bishops and hundreds of Catholic faithful gathered at the Texas Capitol to celebrate Catholic Faith in Action Advocacy Day. The Bishops and participants addressed a broad range of diverse issues including advance directives reform, school choice tax credit scholarships, payday lending, Medicaid expansion, and abortion facilities regulation.
Bishops that participated in the day included:
- Daniel Cardinal DiNardo (Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston)
- Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller (Archdiocese of San Antonio)
- Bishop Daniel Flores (Diocese of Brownsville)
- Bishop Curtis John Guillory (Diocese of Beaumont)
- Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey (Diocese of Corpus Christi)
- Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer (Diocese of San Angelo)
- Bishop Plácido Rodríguez (Diocese of Lubbock)
- Bishop Mark Seitz (Diocese of Dallas)
- Auxiliary Bishop George Arthur Sheltz (Diocese of Galveston-Houston)
- Bishop Joe Vásquez (Diocese of Austin)
- Bishop Patrick J. Zurek (Diocese of Amarillo)
The Bishops and participants joined together in a massive rally at 11:30 a.m. on the south steps of the Capitol, where the Catholic Bishops addressed nearly 2,000 Catholics traveling from every corner of the state. Throughout the day participants made visits with their senators and representatives.
Photos below appear courtesy of Frances Pullin, Pullin Photography 2013.
Below are news articles, covering Advocacy Day that were drawn from the weekly Texas Catholic Conference News Clips. TCC News Clips is a multi-weekly compilation of news articles on issues relevant to the concerns of the Catholic Church in Texas. The citations include the headline, source, and key message of each article. The TCC does not endorse or validate the views or content of the articles, but makes them available to subscribers solely to inform Catholics on the issues that concern our faith in Texas and the nation.
THOUSANDS CELEBRATE CATHOLIC FAITH IN ACTION ADVOCACY DAYFOX News Austin - April 9, 2013
***TEXAS ADVOCACY DAY EDITION***
The Capitol served as a backdrop for a couple of thousand Catholics who came to Austin.Tuesday's gathering was a stand of faith for the church as much legislation going through the Capitol affects the Catholic Church. Lawmakers were able to see firsthand thousands standing as one. "For all of them it's impressive for some of them it evokes such pride and perhaps in a couple even some fear. Let it be. But what we want is your presence is what we want," said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/21923663/thousands-celebrate-catholic-faith-in-action-advocacy-day#ixzz2QG0N93m1 CATHOLIC LEADERS, FAITHFUL RALLY AT CAPITOLTexas Tribune - April 9, 2013
Thousands of Texas Catholics rallied at the capitol Tuesday, calling on legislators to, among other things, show they value life with measures that reduce abortion and increase health care access and improve social justice in Texas by cracking down on predatory lenders. Under the banner of the Texas Catholic Conference, a public advocacy association formed by the 15 Roman Catholic Dioceses of Texas, more than 1,000 people gathered on the south steps of the capitol building for Catholic Faith in Action Advocacy Day. http://www.texastribune.org/2013/04/09/catholic-leaders-faithful-rally-capitol/ CATHOLIC LEADERS, SCHOOL CHILDREN SWARM CAPITOLHouston Chronicle - April 9, 2013
Men in black-and-white roman collars and children in blue shirts filled the hallways of the capitol Tuesday morning. The usual suited lobbyists, staffers and lawmakers walked the long way or politely cut through the crowd gathered for Catholic Faith in Action Advocacy Day. The Senate opened with a prayer from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston who recently helped the global church select a new Pope, as parishioners watched from the galley. Outside, more than 1,000 Catholic school children gathered on the north steps with their teachers, waving and hollering in groups upon spotting their bishop. Some of the 11 bishops knelt down to speak with the children before starting speeches and a rally. http://blog.chron.com/texaspolitics/2013/04/catholic-leaders-school-children-swarm-capitol/ HOUSTON AREA CATHOLICS IN AUSTIN FOR RALLYKTRK HOUSTON - April 9, 2013
Houstonians are among the thousands of Catholics holding a rally in Austin, demanding a long list of reforms. One of the biggest issues they're calling attention to is payday loans. Hundreds of Houstonians were up before the sun to take part in Catholic Advocacy Day at the state capitol. The Texas Catholic conference has reviewed and given its opinion on more than a hundred bills, and today these messengers will share the church's thoughts on the issues with state lawmakers. http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=9057898 TEXAS SENATOR ASKS SUPPORTERS TO PRAY FOR SCHOOL VOUCHERSAssociated Press - April 10, 2013
The chairman of the state Senate Education Committee acknowledged Tuesday that his sweeping school voucher plan faces a tough road to becoming law, and he asked key supporters to pray for it. Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is a leading advocate for "school choice." He wants to offer tax credits to businesses that provide scholarship funding to help low-income students leave poor-performing public schools for private or religious ones. At a committee hearing, Patrick said the proposal would allow firms to write off 100 percent of their state business margin taxes but would cap the total value of all donations at $100 million. Up to 10,000 students might be able to transfer out of public schools, he said. http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/04/09/4762675/texas-senator-asks-supporters.html STATE-SUPPORTED PRIVATE SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS GET AIRING IN CAPITOLAustin American Statesman - April 9, 2013
Religious leaders flocked to the Texas Capitol Tuesday to support legislation that would help public school students pay for private school. And all their prayers will be necessary to pass Senate Bill 23 into law, said Senate Education Committee Chairman Dan Patrick, R-Houston, who is carrying the legislation. “I realize the mountain is very high,” Patrick said during the committee hearing. http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-supported-private-school-scholarships-get-ai/nXG5W/ TEXAS CATHOLIC LEADERS ON NEW POPE, SCHOOL CHOICEKVUE News - Austin April 9. 2013
Offering a blessing over lawmakers at the Texas Capitol, the state's highest-ranking Catholic official returned to Texas with praise for newly-elected Pope Francis. "I think he's been spectacular, a man of incredible humility," Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston told KVUE Tuesday. A participant in last month's papal conclave at the Vatican, DiNardo called the mood behind closed doors "serene." Once electors chose fellow Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina to replace retired Pope Benedict XVI, DiNardo says Bergoglio was reflective. http://www.kvue.com/news/Texas-Catholic-leaders-on-new--202219311.html CATHOLICS CONFRONT PAYDAY LENDING IN TEXASDallas Business Journal - April 10, 2013
Catholic Church leaders gathered at the Texas Capitol Tuesday to support legislation that would prevent what they deem as payday lenders’ exploitation of working Texas families. House Bill 2019, filed by State Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, proposes to close a loophole that allows payday and auto title lenders to charge unlimited fees for short-term loans. It still permits high fee caps that can average 80 percent APR, but reins in current unlimited fees that can result in APR rates ranging from 600 percent to 800 percent. The bill presents meaningful reform that will end the cycle of debt for working families, according to the Texas Catholic Conference. http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/catholics-confront-payday-lending-in.html