Texas Catholic Voice: May 24

In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:

  • Legislature concludes May 31 ...
  • Death penalty resources for small groups ...
  • and more!

A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director

The 87th Texas Legislature closes "sine die" May 31. It's been a historic session, what with the pandemic and the severe February winter storm, not to mention all that's been happening inside the Capitol!

Thank you for all your efforts in contacting your legislators this year. Those emails, phone calls and other outreach have made a difference! We're not asking for any of that outreach this week, but please do continue to pray for all who serve us in the Texas government. May the Spirit of Pentecost breathe on all of us in this last week!

Updates on key legislation

This week we hope the Senate hears bills giving inmates who were sentenced as juveniles a "second look" (HB 686) and giving new mothers extended medical assistance coverage (HB 133).  We hope a bill providing extended health care eligibility for babies from age six months to 12 months (HB 290) will be placed on the Senate Calendar by Wednesday.

We are very happy the Human Life Protection Act, HB 1280, passed to third reading in the Senate on Monday, and that the bill supporting homeschooled children's participation in UIL activities (HB 547), has passed.

In the House, last calendar has been set. We  are extremely disappointed SB 394, the Chemical Abortion Safety Protocol, did not make it onto the calendar. We are hopeful this critical issue can be addressed later this year. We will continue to watch carefully the House for any harmful amendments that would impact payday lending ordinances.

We are grateful the House passed SJR 19/SB25, which will propose a constitutional amendment to establish a right for residents of certain facilities to designate essential caregivers for in-person visitation.

In other good news:

  • SB 30 would allow an owner of real property or an interest in it to request the county clerk to remove discriminatory restrictions recorded in property records. It has had a third reading in the House.
  • SB 224, which requires a simplified certification and recertification requirements for certain persons under the SNAP program, is moving forward.

Month of Rosaries

Join the daily live broadcast of the recitation of the Rosary in link-ups with Marian shrines around the world, as part of the May marathon of prayer called by Pope Francis. "Guided by Shrines around the world during this month of May, we recite the Rosary to invoke an end to the pandemic and the resumption of social and work-related activities." (Pope Francis, General Audience, 5 May 2021). The Rosary is prayed each day at 11 am CST and available for view on demand. A schedule with links is here.

Upcoming Texas Executions

John Hummel - June 30, 2021

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 May

We pray for those who risk their lives while fighting for fundamental rights under dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and even in democracies in crisis.

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.