In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:

  • Executive Director Jennifer Carr Allmon discusses how Catholics can help bring civility to our political discourse....
  • Congratulations to three of our dioceses on their work to promote priestly vocations!...
  • Adoption Awareness Month resources...
  • Our Public Policy Outreach Coordinator visits Corpus Christi...
  • and more...

A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director

As Catholics we are called to bring the light of Christ to all we encounter. We are called to speak prophetic truth. We are called to care for the unborn, the poor, the migrant, the condemned, all vulnerable people, and to care for God’s creation. The anger we feel over the injustice or indifference we see towards any of God’s children can become a stumbling block to our ability to advocate successfully.

Many times it feels that our communities are more politically divided than ever and it seems civil discourse has almost disappeared from our political debate. The USCCB is kicking off a campaign to bring it back! You can activate the Civilize It campaign with your community using the resources at CivilizeIt.org. This year-long campaign begins Sunday, Nov. 3 and seeks to help Catholics model civility, clarity, and compassion during the election year.

Here are some resources the campaign offers to live out that commitment:

Reflection on Civility
Conscience Formation
Prayer for Civility
Examination of Conscience

As we conclude Respect Life Month, we encourage you to continue finding ways to care for and advocate for human life and dignity in all its stages. In Texas, one way you can do this is to buy a “Choose Life” license plate. Through the sales of these license plates, the state’s Choose Life Grant Program awards financial assistance to charitable organizations that provide for the needs of women who are considering placing their children for adoption. We also encourage parishes to promote the license plate in their bulletins, church fairs, and in their pro-life ministry programming. You can learn more about the program here and order plates at this link.

As always, you can follow us on on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates. God bless!

Three Texas Dioceses Among Top 20 for Ordination Rates

The CARA Report (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) periodically reviews the ordination rates in each US diocese. The latest review for the ordination years 2015, 2016, and 2017 includes two categories: ordinand-to-parishioner ratio and total ordinations over three years. We would like to recognize and congratulate the Diocese of San Angelo and the Diocese of Victoria for ranking number 17 and 20 respectively in ordinand-to-Catholic ratio and the Diocese of Austin for coming in at number 12 for total ordinations.

From 2015-17 the Diocese of San Angelo had approximately 85,000 Catholics and ordained seven priests; the Diocese of Victoria had approximately 104,000 Catholics and ordained eight priests.  The Diocese of Austin ordained a total of 17 priests from 2015-17. We are grateful to God for the vocations of these men and to the dioceses that formed them.

Did you know November is National Adoption Month? More than 123,000 children and youth are waiting to be adopted across the United States. In Texas, this is no different. Thousands of children are waiting to be adopted or placed in loving foster homes. The Texas bishops recently created the St. Joseph Ministry to promote adoption and foster care in our state. You can learn more about that initiative and connect with resources here.

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Diocese of Corpus Christi visited by TCCB staffer

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Diocese of Corpus Christi. The TCCB is sending staffers to visit various dioceses during the post-session interim. These visits allow us to learn how we can better serve the dioceses, meet with diocesan officials, and gain an understanding of the ministries and programs the Church provides to Texans. While in Corpus Christi, I had the opportunity to meet with the diocese’s legal counsel and Catholic Schools office, attended prison and jail ministry visits, attended the Catholic Charities gala, and visited parishes affected by Hurricane Harvey. I’m especially grateful to Bishop Mulvey and his staff for their warm welcome and hospitality, including David Campa, Jaime Reyna, Superintendent Dr. Rosemary Henry, and Deacon Mark Arnold. I look forward to visiting again in the future!
-- Rachana Chhin, TCCB Public Policy Outreach Coordinator

Prayer for the Legislature

During the interim session, please pray for all our public servants and elected officials, including our Governor, Lt. Governor, House Speaker, lawmakers, and their staff, that the Lord may grant them rest and refreshment from their work, bless their return home to their districts to be with their families and constituents, and give them grace and guidance in the interim.

 

Support for victims of Natural Disasters

Catholic Charities USA is collecting donations to assist those affected by the Tropical Storm Imelda, the Midwest Storms, Alabama Tornadoes, California Wildfires, Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Florence, and other natural disasters. CCUSA forwards 100 percent of funds raised directly to Catholic Charities agencies that serve the affected communities.  To learn more visit www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.

The Texas Catholic Voice is a publication of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. For more information, write news@txcatholic.org or call 512-339-9882.