Workshops prep Catholics for Advocacy Day

February 22, 2011

HOUSTON — On April 6, Catholics from across Texas will converge on the State Capitol in Austin to discuss with legislators issues important to the faithful. Participants will present Catholic concerns regarding education, immigration, family life, health and human services and criminal justice reform.

“This is a great opportunity for Catholics all over the state to gather together to really advance the social teachings of the Church in the public square [and] to offer a Catholic voice for justice, peace and compassion … and to interface with public policy makers and let them know we care about the poor, the immigrants and the unborn,” said Deacon Sam Dunning, Archdiocesan Director of the Office of Justice and Peace.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo has invited parishioners to participate in Advocacy Day in an effort to increase the presence from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, which is the 12th largest diocese in the United States. 

Catholics interested in participating in the teams visiting lawmakers’ offices on April 6 must attend an Advocacy Day training workshop. There will be a training session on Feb. 24 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at St. Edward Church, 2601 Spring Stuebner Rd. in Spring. The final session is March 1 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Catholic Charities’ Mamie George Community Center, 1111 Collins Rd. in Richmond. 

All Catholic faithful, even those who are not planning to serve on an Advocacy Day team, are welcome and encouraged to attend any of these sessions to learn more about Catholic Social Teaching and the bishops’ legislative agenda.

To attend any of the training sessions, contact Rhonda Sepulveda at 713-874-6672 or rsepulveda@catholiccharities.orgto RSVP.

In addition to training as an Advocacy Day team member, those who wish to offer support to the Texas bishops’ legislative priorities can also:

  • Organize a group to travel to Austin as general participants in Advocacy Day;
  • Incorporate teachings on the U.S. Bishops’ document, “Faithful Citizenship” into school and religious education lesson plans;
  • Write or make phone calls to the offices of state legislators to express support for the bishops’ priorities;
  • Pray for those attending Advocacy Day and for the event’s success.

“Catholic Faith in Action Advocacy Day,” sponsored by the Texas Catholic Conference, is a day-long event, which begins with a rally on the steps of the State Capitol. After the rally, small teams of Catholics will meet with their state lawmakers and educate them on the Texas bishops’ legislative priorities. 

On Advocacy Day, Cardinal DiNardo will be joined by Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio; Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville; Bishop Michael Mulvey of Corpus Christi; Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin (former Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston); and Catholics around the state to give voice to the bishops’ public policy priorities for the upcoming legislative session. 

The Texas Catholic Conference, which hosts Catholic Advocacy Day and serves as the public policy voice of the Texas bishops, reads all legislation filed and monitors issues pertaining to Catholic moral and social teachings as well as the institutional concerns of the Catholic Church. The Conference encourages all Catholics to be faithful citizens and to continue to engage in advocacy during and after the legislative session.

To view the Texas bishops’ legislative priorities, visit For more information on participating in Advocacy Day, visit †

— Jenny Faber and Jonah Dycus