Texas Catholic Voice Nov. 6, 2023

In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:

  • Third special session closing ...
  • Pope Francis asks for prayers ...
  • Upcoming executions this month  ...
  • And more!

A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director


The Senate Committee on Border Security took up a committee substitute to HB 4 on All Saints Day. The substitute removed the provision allowing local and state law enforcement to arrest and detain individuals or “remove” them and order their return to Mexico. While this is an improvement, the legislation still suffers from a host of impracticalities, not the least of which is the State assuming responsibilities the United States Supreme Court has consistently ruled are solely within the purview of the federal government. It remains to be seen whether the two chambers can agree on the final version of HB 4 in the remaining days of this special session.  

Parental Choice  

On Halloween, the governor added public-school finance to the special session call, but there is not enough time to pass school choice in this session, which ends tomorrow. This is not discouraging, however, as the governor has said that he will call an immediate fourth special session to address parental choice in education.  

We are supportive of the improved HB 1 draft filed by Chair Buckley. For the bishops to support a bill, it must include the following provisions: 

  • Robust safeguards for the autonomy and religious liberty of private schools 
  • Accreditation of participating private schools (all Catholic schools in Texas are accredited) 
  • Prioritization of low-income families and students with special needs 
  • Administration of norm-referenced assessments (instead of the STAAR) 

Regardless of when the next special session begins, let’s maintain momentum! Please continue to contact your Texas House representatives and urge them to support parental choice. If possible, make plans to come to Austin before Thanksgiving to meet with your state representative. Contact Jenny Andrews at parents@txcatholic.org for assistance in planning your day and making appointments with your state representative. Now is the time to make your voices heard and advocate for educational options for students who need it most.  

Upcoming Executions 

The State of Texas is scheduled to execute Brent Ray Brewer this Thursday, Nov. 9, for a crime he committed in 1990 in Amarillo when he was 19 years old. The robbery and murder of Robert Laminack occurred just weeks after Brewer left a state mental hospital, where he had been involuntarily committed for depression and suicidal thoughts. 

On Thursday, Nov. 16, the State of Texas is scheduled to execute David Renteria, who was convicted in El Paso in 2003.

Please join the bishops and other people of good will seeking clemency for those on death row and an end to the use of capital punishment.

A Prayer for St. Elizabeth's Intercession

Lord God, thank you for blessing
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton with great faith, hope, joy, and charity.
We pray that her timeless example will guide us.
We look at her humility to help us accept your will for our lives.
Let her grateful heart remind us to thank you
for the joys and challenges of life.
May her courage and perseverance inspire us
To serve others, our church and our country.
Thank you, God, for Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton,
a loving and glorious saint who is always by our side.
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us. Amen.

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.

In the Holy Father's prayer intention for November, Pope Francis reveals that “being pope is also a process” and he asks all to pray that the pope, “whoever he might be, today it is my turn, may receive the help of the Holy Spirit.”