Texas Catholic Voice February, 2022

In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:

  • Fast for peace on Ash Wednesday ...
  • Your vote matters March 1 ...
  • Melissa Lucio sentenced to die April 27 ...
  • Walking with Moms in Need ...
  • Texas Catholic Historical Society meets ...
  • And more!

A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director

Tomorrow, March 1, is Election Day. Before we head to the polls, I encourage all Catholics to read Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States. In this document, the bishops reflect on Catholic social teaching in the public square and summarize policy positions on major issues.

The dignity of the human person, subsidiarity, the common good, and solidarity provide a framework for applying Church teaching to issues such as abortion, capital punishment, education, healthcare, migration, religious freedom, and unjust discrimination.

The bishops write that “the threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty.

They also state the “Church is involved in the political process but is not partisan. The Church cannot champion any candidate or party. Our cause is the defense of human life and dignity and the protection of the weak and vulnerable.”

Texas State Capitol Building (AdobeStock)

As Catholics let us seek to rise above the current inane and disingenuous political discourse and bring the rich intellectual and spiritual traditions of our faith to the polling booth.

You can find a sample ballot of all the candidates in the 2022 primaries here. If you enter your address, the ballot will be personalized for the districts you reside in.

Texas bishops ask for mercy for mother facing execution

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops are asking the State of Texas to spare the life of Melissa Lucio, a mother of 14 and a grandmother, who is sentenced to die April 27.

Texas Catholic Historical Society meets in Austin

The Texas Catholic Historical Society hosted its annual panel and luncheon during the Texas State Historical Association’s 126th Annual Meeting at the University of Texas at Austin on Feb. 25. The panel, To Heal and Sustain: Building Catholic Health Care Ministry in Texas, 1866-2017, included:

  • Sr. Pauline Troncale, CCVI describing the beginnings of Catholic health care in Texas and the history of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word,
  • Karl Kuykendall examined the role of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Texas health care, and
  • Selena Aleman discussed the history of the Texas Conference of Health Facilities.

Papers from the panel will be published in the society’s journal, the Catholic Southwest, next year. After the panel, members attended Mass at the University Catholic Center and gathered for a luncheon. During the luncheon’s business meeting, the society discussed next year’s panel in El Paso which will explore Catholic responses in Texas to the John F. Kennedy assassination. The society also plans to launch a social media campaign in the fall and hopes to attract new membership from Catholic university students.

Ash Wednesday: fast for peace

After the primaries and all the King cake you can eat, we observe Ash Wednesday. Pope Francis urges all to join in a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Ukraine on Ash Wednesday.

“Once again the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests,” he stressed. Pope Francis appealed to those “with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war, who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.”

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US Senate vote on HR 3755

The US Senate will vote today on HR 3755, the “Women’s Health Protection Act.” This deceptively-named, extreme bill would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute. Even worse, it would eliminate modest and widely supported pro-life laws at every level of government -- the federal, state, and local level -- including parental notification for minor girls, informed consent, and health or safety protections specific to abortion facilities.

It would force all Americans to support abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars. It would also likely force health care providers and professionals to perform, assist in, and/or refer for abortion against their deeply held beliefs, as well as force employers and insurers to cover or pay for abortion.

The bill does not have the 60 votes needed to pass, but as many as 49 Senators could go on the record today supporting it which is deeply troubling. Please continue to pray for an end to abortion and support pregnant women in difficult circumstances by getting involved with Walking with Moms in Need.

Upcoming Texas Executions

Michael Gonzales, March 8

Carl Buntion, April 21

Melissa Lucio, April 27

Please join our bishops in praying for those scheduled for execution, for the victims of violent crimes and for all affected, including their families and communities. As the bishops of Texas wrote in their pastoral letter, "May God give us the grace to witness to the dignity of human life. May the Lord console the suffering, protect our community, and grant conversion to those responsible for the inflicting of death and violence upon others."

Prayer for the Legislature

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 wisdom and prudence to work for the common good of all the people of Texas.

papal seal

Pope Francis' prayer intention for March

For a Christian response to bioethical challenges

We pray for Christians facing new bioethical challenges; may they continue to defend the dignity of all human life with prayer and action.

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.