Catholic Diocese of Dallas

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Advocacy Day Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Texas Catholic Conference (TCC)?

The Texac Catholic Conference (TCC) is the association of the 15 ordinary Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas. A major function of the Conference is to be the public policy arm of the Bishops of Texas, before the Texas Legislature, the Texas delegation in Congress, and state agencies.  The public policy issues addressed by the Conference include institutional concerns of the Catholic Church and issues related to Catholic social teachings. For more on the advocacy work of the TCC, visit www.txcatholic.org.

When is Advocacy Day?

The date for Advocacy Day 2017 is TBA, but we will publish it as soon as it is released.

What is Advocacy Day?

Legislative Advocacy Days are an opportunity for Catholics around the state to participate in the political process by voicing the concerns of the Texas Bishops.  Participants are invited to visit the State Capitol and meet with legislative staff to discuss the Bishops’ Legislative Concerns regarding issues that affect the life and dignity of the people of Texas.

What happens on Advocacy Day?

The day begins with a rally on the South Steps of the Capital.  Participants then have an opportunity to visit the House and Senate chambers, followed by Legislative Visits with specified representatives and senators.  Capitol Cafeteria available for lunch as schedule permits.  More info re: logistics coming soon.

What are the"Legislative Visits"?

Teams of 3-5 people are formed with at least one person taking the role of reporter.  There will be approximately four legislative visits assigned per team.  These teams will be assigned to visit with either his or her own senator or representative as well as additional representatives or senators from our diocese.  The team will present information to the legislature/staff member on at least one specific bill on the TCC’s Legislative Session Priorities and will discuss the legislator’s position on such bill(s).  This is our opportunity to educate, inform and be a witness to our Catholic faith and her teachings.

Is there training to be an Advocate?

Yes.  Grassroots Training Sessions will be scheduled in the first quarter of 2015.  More information coming soon.  The Diocesan Advocacy Day coordinators are also available to schedule training at individual parishes, upon request. 

How can I learn more about the Bills promoted by the TCC and Catholic Teaching?

Information on the Texas Catholic Conference Legislative Agenda can be found at www.txcatholiclegagenda.org.

What if I can't travel to Austin on Advocacy Day?

Volunteers are needed to:

  • Recruit Volunteers
  • Make Phone Calls/Send Emails to the legislators prior to Advocacy Day to announce that your friends will be coming to meet with them and you would like them to take note of the information they are provided.
  • Please pray for the advocates traveling to Austin and for the Legislators with whom they will meet (Prayer for Advocacy Day)

More information re: participation coming soon.

What else can be done beyond Advocacy Day?

Sign up to receive the “Texas Catholic Voice” E-Newsletters to stay informed, and when you join, depending on the area of interest designated, you will receive ACTION ALERTS on specific legislation pending before State & National lawmakers and have the opportunity to contact representatives in support or opposition to the legislation by Mail, Phone, Fax or E-mail. 

Continue to pray for our legislators

What can parishes do to support Advocacy Day and our Bishops?

1)  Bulletin Inserts:  Save the dates for Advocacy Day and promote training dates (Sample announcement and flyer coming soon)
 

2)  Host a Training Class:  Email to arrange a training.
 

3)  Promote Participation in Advocacy Day via:

  • Pulpit Announcements
  • Pastor Endorsements 
  • Recruiting teams and encouraging participation
  • Website postings or e-communications

4)  Sign-up Sheet at table after Mass:  Sign-up to volunteer to:

  • Travel to Austin on Advocacy Day;
  • Make phone calls prior to Advocacy Day;
  • Make follow-up phone calls after Advocacy Day, as bills are being monitored for voting;
  • Sign up to receive the “Texas Catholic Voice” e-alerts. May designate interest in the following 5 areas: Immigration; Health & Human Services; Criminal Justice; Life and Education.

**The Diocese of Dallas Advocacy Day Planning Team hopes that this event will be a motivating experience of raising voices for our moral beliefs and an opportunity to live out our Baptismal “obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society that is a requirement of our faith.” (Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, no. 9)**