In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:
- Join us in prayer each Wednesday...
- Payday lending ...
- And more!
A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director
On Wednesday, Rep. Kyle Kacal hosted our first rosary this session. We are so grateful to him for continuing this beautiful tradition and we hope to recruit other Catholic legislators to lead every week. If you happen to be around the Capitol on Wednesdays at 8 am, come pray with us in GS.6 or watch live on the TCCB Facebook page.
Also on Wednesday, Speaker Phelan announced the much-anticipated House committee assignments. Bill filing will pick up again now that legislators know the makeup of committees and we will be posting the bishops’ positions on our website within the next couple of weeks.
This week we participated in the Texas Fair Lending Alliance’s legislative staff briefing on strengthening Texas families and local economies by reforming payday and auto title lending. We began our advocacy on payday lending reform after our Catholic Charities agencies shared their concerns about the alarming number of their clients needing financial assistance who were trapped in these loans, loans which create a cycle of debt rather than a cycle of success.
Action at the state level is very difficult because of the powerful influence of the payday lenders’ campaign contributions and highly-paid lobbyists. Despite that, we have been successful every session in protecting local payday lending ordinances in 49 Texas cities that dioceses support. These ordinances protect 11 million Texans.
Unfortunately, Senate Bill 149 would preempt these beneficial ordinances, so we will be actively opposing SB 149. However, House Bill 297 would adopt the ordinances as state law, a step in the right direction.
On our Catholic Advocacy Day (March 28), 1,300 Catholic school children will be participating in mock legislative hearings on payday lending. In preparation, they will watch The Ordinance, a documentary we coproduced with the Baptists. I encourage everyone to check it out on Amazon prime, or on our YouTube channel.
Happy St. Valentine’s Day! Although, in the secular world, this holiday is centered on romantic love, as Christians may we celebrate the love for our families, friends, neighbors, but especially the love that God has for all of us.
Pope Francis' prayer intention for February
We pray that parishes, placing communion at the center, may increasingly become communities of faith, fraternity and welcome toward those most in need.
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.
Upcoming Executions in Texas
Gary Green, March 7
Arthur Brown, Jr., March 9
Anibal Canales, Jr., March 29
Thomas Andre, April 5
Ivan Cantu, April 26
The Texas bishops ask for clemency for everyone on death row and pray for the abolition of the death penalty.