Archdiocese seeks advocacy ‘Archangels’ from local Church to be leaders in community
December 25, 2012
HOUSTON — For faithful citizens looking to act on New Year's Resolutions regarding Catholic social teaching and public policy, mark your calendars now: The 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature begins Jan. 8, 2013. The date will also provide a local training opportunity for those eager to get involved.
|83rd Legislative Session Update and Advocacy Archangel Training
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
St. Mary Seminary Nold Building
9845 Memorial Dr.
Houston, Texas 77024
Speaker: Deacon Joe Rubio, vice president of Community Relations and Advocacy with Catholic Charities. RVSP to email@example.com or
The Texas bishops have worked in collaboration with the staff of the Texas Catholic Conference (TCC) to formulate the Bishops' 2013 legislative priorities for the upcoming session. While they are extensive and encompass a broad range of important issues, especially pro-life concerns, there are three key areas in which the TCC will focus significant resources: payday lending, advance directives and school choice.
The TCC has requested that each diocese create a network of Advocacy "Archangels" at the parish level to assist in coordinating a grass roots response throughout the legislative session to engage parishioners in continuing their roles as faithful citizens. The Archangels will lead the effort at parishes to inform and educate the faithful on the legislative agenda and to encourage their participation in the public square in a variety of ways, i.e., emails, cards, letters, phone calls, visits to local legislators, etc.
"The Archangels program came about as a way to strengthen and engender that sense of belonging and communication in the faithful to public policy," said Jeff Patterson, TCC director. "It focuses on those who are willing to step up and advocate their faith and serve as a conduit of communication and education to the people in their parishes."
In the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo has asked pastors to identify one to two individuals who would coordinate their parish's response as issues of interest to the Church arise during the upcoming session.
Texas Legislature Key Dates
Jan. 8, 2013: 83rd Legislature convenes at noon
March 8 (60th day): Deadline for filing bills and joint resolutions
April 9: Texas Catholic Conference Advocacy Day
May 27 (140th day): Last day of 83rd Regular Session
June 16 (20th day): (Following final adjournment) Last day governor can sign or veto bills passed during regular session.
"The [Archangels] program would not be possible without the energetic support we have gotten from Cardinal DiNardo and the other bishops from across the State of Texas," Patterson said.
Naturally, volunteer or staff members with strong interest in social justice issues are considered ideal candidates to serve as Archangels. Parishes with an active social ministry program or Society of St. Vincent de Paul Conference can also be great resources for finding interested participants.
"With nearly 7 million Catholics in the 15 dioceses across the State of Texas, we have the wonderful opportunity through this collective effort to educate, inform and call others to serve through action," Cardinal DiNardo said. "In this Year of Faith, it is one of the many ways in which we may all be witnesses of the Gospel."
DID YOU KNOW?
The Texas Catholic Conference has revised its web site (www.txcatholic.org) with more articles, policy resources, event information and items to promote the rich diversity of the Church in Texas. The new website also has a number of new features, including Shepherds Speak columns by Texas bishops, a Lone Star Catholic Blog on topical issues, and links to resources and services.