In this issue of the Texas Catholic Voice:
- Parental choice ...
- Upcoming Executions ...
- Universal Church is called to Synod ...
- And more!
A Message from Jennifer Allmon, Executive Director
This is usually an uneventful time of year as far as Capitol business goes, but that has not been the case this past month!
The impeachment trial drew a swirl of media attention and talk of any other issues was muted.
Since the conclusion of the trial, parental choice in education is back front and center, but there was lingering resentment between the House and Senate which initially appeared to be a major obstacle to passing any parental choice legislation.
As legislators hear more from parents in their districts about their support for parental choice, we are seeing more and more members interested in advancing legislation to make it a reality.
Governor Greg Abbott has announced that the special session on parental choice will begin the second week in October. Throughout September we have met with legislators and parents at several Catholic schools around the state and we will continue to do so in October.
Jenny Andrews, our Parental Choice Engagement Director, visited St. John Berchman Catholic School in San Antonio with Rep. Josey Garcia's legislative aide, Victor Johnson. The principal conducted a tour of the school and they discussed the need for parental choice legislation to provide more educational options to families. A highlight of the tour was seeing Julie Ortiz, TCCB’s 2023 Elementary Teacher of the Year, in action!
TCCB also hosted a fantastic school tour for Rep. Joe Moody and Rep. Claudia Ordaz in El Paso, led by three middle school students and two moms at Most Holy Trinity Catholic School. The two mothers shared that their children with special needs are thriving at Most Holy Trinity, which would not be possible for them to attend without financial assistance.
One mother explained she chose a Catholic school because she was struggling financially and was moving often. Catholic school has provided her daughter stability. The legislators were very moved by the stories and connected to these two parents. Rep. Ordaz told us after the event that their stories illustrated for her several of the strong policy reasons to support parental choice.
We also presented to parents at St. Monica Catholic School in Converse and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Selma, inviting them to get involved and spread the word about parental choice.
We are excited to announce we have launched a parental choice toolkit for parishes and schools that includes social media graphics, bulletin inserts, parental choice Q&A, videos by our bishops, and much more! All the materials and information direct people to contact their legislator and ask them to support a meaningful parental choice bill in the special session.
If you’re interested in helping us, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to get you plugged in!
Most importantly, we ask everyone to pray for this effort and for our legislators, that they will rise above politics and truly make a difference for Texas families. We are asking the intercession of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the foundress of the first Catholic school in the United States, and the patron saint of Catholic schools.
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.
Sept. 29 is Will Speer's 49th birthday. Texas named him as the first Inmate Coordinator for the Death Row Faith Based Program. His execution is scheduled for Oct. 26.
Oct. 10 – Jedidiah Murphy
Oct. 26 – William Speer
Nov. 9 – Brent Brewer
Nov. 16 – David Renteria
The Texas bishops ask for clemency for all on death row in our country and pray for the abolition of the death penalty.
For the Synod
We pray for the Church, that she may adopt listening and dialogue as a lifestyle at every level, and allow herself to be guided by the Holy Spirit towards the peripheries of the world.