On Tuesday, April 9, Catholic faithful from across the great state of Texas gather together at the Texas State Capitol to celebrate Catholic Faith in Action Advocacy Day. Legislative Advocacy Days are an opportunity for Catholics to participate in the political process by voicing the concerns of the Texas Bishops, which cover all aspects of preserving life and advocates on behalf of the poor and vulnerable.
Eleven Texas Catholic Bishops and over 2000 Catholic faithful including priests, brothers, sisters, Catholic School children and teachers and Catholic parish workers will join together on the south steps of the Capitol for a rally at 11:30am hosted by our Texas Bishops to promote our Church’s values of life, justice, charity, and religious freedom during the 83rd Texas Legislature. After the rally, participants will meet with legislative staff, State Senators and House of Representative members to address and discuss the Bishops’ Legislative concerns for this legislative session.
A full list of the 83rd Texas State Legislation Priorities for the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops can be found here, though priorities of note include advance directives reform, school choice tax credit scholarships, payday lending, Medicaid expansion, abortion facilities regulation and immigration.
Bishops participating in the day include:
·Daniel Cardinal DiNardo (Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston)
·Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller (Archdiocese of San Antonio)
·Bishop Daniel Flores (Diocese of Brownsville)
·Bishop Curtis John Guillory (Diocese of Beaumont)
·Bishop Wm. Michael Mulvey (Diocese of Corpus Christi)
·Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer (Diocese of San Angelo)
·Bishop Plácido Rodríguez (Diocese of Lubbock)
·Bishop Mark Seitz (Diocese of Dallas)
·Auxiliary Bishop George Arthur Sheltz (Diocese of Galveston-Houston)
·Bishop Joe Vásquez (Diocese of Austin)
·Bishop Patrick J. Zurek (Diocese of Amarillo)
Catholic Advocacy Days are organized by the Texas Catholic Conference (TCC), the public policy voice for the Bishops of Texas. Learn more about TCC at www.TXcatholic.org or find them on Facebook and on Twitter.
To learn more about Catholic Advocacy Days, check out this great overview by the Catholic Pro-Life Committee in the Diocese of Dallas.
Logistical Information for Catholic Advocacy Day:
Parking for Individuals:
Public parking is available at the Visitor Parking Garage. The first two hours of parking are free of charge. Vehicles can enter from either 12th or 13th Street. The garage is bordered by San Jacinto and Trinity. The Capitol Visitors Center, Capitol and Capitol Extension are a short walk away. You can view public parking information here.
Maps & Navigation:
The Texas Tribune has an application to navigate the Capitol and locate lawmakers’ offices. Search by member name, or browse using the floor plan by clicking the tab for each floor in the Capitol and Capitol Extension. View the application here. The Texas State Preservation Board’s website also provides detailed maps of the Capitol complex, those please note, the maps provided by the State Preservation Board do not include legislator information. View these maps here.
The website includes the following maps:
1. Capitol Complex
2. Capitol Building Ground & First (Room numbers beginning with G or 1)
3. Capitol Building Second – Fourth (Room numbers beginning with 2, 3, or 4)
4. Capitol Extension First Floor (Room numbers beginning with E1)
5. Capitol Extension Second Floor (Room numbers beginning with E2)
6. Capitol Accessibility Guide
7. Capitol Monuments
Use maps 2, 3, 4, and 5 together with the Texas Legislative Handbook or the Texas Capitol Building Directory (in .pdf format) to locate your legislators’ offices.
For more information about Political Activity Guidelines and the Catholic Church, visit the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops website here.