Texas Catholic Voice Feb. 20, 2023

In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:

  • Governor's priorities includes parental choice ...
  • Ash Wednesday ...
  • And more!

A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director

Last week Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced his top 30 priorities, and on Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott delivered his State of the State address where he declared seven emergency items.

Both of their lists include parental choice and because the Governor declared “education freedom” an emergency item, the Legislature can vote on the issue before March 10. The Texas Constitution prohibits the House and Senate from passing legislation within the first 60 days of session unless four-fifths of members in either chamber vote to suspend the rule, or the governor declares the matter an emergency.

We are optimistic that the lieutenant governor and governor are both throwing their full weight behind parental choice, but votes are closer in the House of Representatives. As Catholics, we believe in universal school choice—that every student in Texas should have the opportunity to learn in the environment best suited to their needs. We are grateful for the governor’s strong message for universal choice

It is imperative that legislators hear from their constituents to counter the opposition’s fear-based messaging. Polling shows that most parents favor programs where money follows the student and evidence from the 32 states with choice proves that choice programs have positive effects on public schools overall.

We anticipate funding might be limited; the bishops are prioritizing their support of bills which place the poor and vulnerable at the head of the line and protect the religious liberty of our schools. We have assisted several bill authors in developing strong legislation which should be filed soon. As soon as possible, we will announce the bill numbers on our social media channels and to the media.

Meanwhile, please contact your legislator through the Texans for Parental Choice in Education website (tpcetx.com). Enter your address to send a message asking your legislator to support school choice. You can also use the Who Represents Me tool below to see all the legislator’s contact information, such as phone numbers and the location of their office inside the Capitol.

We cannot say it enough – tell everyone to sign up for the Texas Catholic Advocacy Network (TXCAN) to stay informed on this issue and all of the bishops’ agenda.

TCCB - Ash Wednesday digital

Lent begins this Wednesday

Lent begins on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Father Tim Nolt will celebrate the Liturgy of the Word and distribute ashes in the Capitol Auditorium at 9:15 am. If you are in the area, please join us to begin your Lenten journey.

Weekly Rosary

This week the rosary will be in room 1W.14, the Agricultural Museum near the Capitol's West entrance. Pray with us at 8 am before heading over to the Auditorium for the Ash Wednesday service or pray with us on Facebook Live.

TCCB Advocacy day 2023 STD and training (Instagram Post (Square)) (1)

Pope Francis' prayer intention for February

For parishes
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.

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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.  

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.