Happy New Year to you all and I pray that your Christmas season has been a time of blessing.
Wow – 2020 was a unique and challenging year. I am writing at the start of the Washington legislative session to greet each of you and to let you know that the Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC) will continue our work of being the legislative and policy voice for the Washington bishops. The start of the new year fills me with a renewed expectation of what we can all accomplish together, as faithful citizens and advocates for our Christian, Catholic faith.
The Washington Catholic bishops have identified the following 11 legislative priorities for this year: the state budget, aging and people with disabilities, education and Catholic schools, children and families, restorative justice, economic justice, care for God’s creation, Catholic hospitals and healthcare, affordable housing, respect life issues, and immigration.
I encourage each of you to join us in being advocates for policies that promote life and justice in our state and in our nation. Our goal is to support policies and legislation that are guided by our Catholic teaching and Christian commitment to love and care for others in our world, in the name of Christ. Ours is also a commitment of valuing human life from conception to its final end and to care for the world God created. In particular, we focus our efforts to support those most in need in our society.
May God bless us all as we seek to live out our faith in this way and be assured that the WSCC stands ready to support you in these efforts. Here is to a 2021 filled with peace and justice.
May God bless you abundantly,
Mario Villanueva, Executive Director, Washington State Catholic Conference
Bishops, Charities, and Catholic Health Care Systems of WA Support COVID-19 Vaccinations: The Washington state bishops, along with the Catholic Charities and Catholic Health Care organizations of the state, encourage individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccination. These vaccinations are morally permissible and will protect the faithful, loved ones, and the community. Read the full statement here. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) also released a statement confirming the moral permissibility of COVID-19 vaccines, providing details on ethical considerations.
2021 Washington State Legislative Session:
The new Washington state legislative session will begin on Monday, January 11 and run for 105 days through April. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the session will be conducted virtually. Visit the Washington State Legislature homepage for information on bills to be introduced and to determine your district and state legislators. Be sure to check the WSCC website for policy updates throughout the session.
During the legislative session, the Catholic Advocacy Bulletin will be published weekly. If you did not receive this bulletin directly, please join our network to receive updates via email.
Congratulations to all state legislators who have been elected and re-elected to office in Washington state. The WSCC looks forward to working with you to serve the common good.
January Pro-Life Activities
As we remember the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, there are a number of pro-life activities in January:
January 21-29: 9 Days for Life novena: Join the 9 Days for Life novena to pray for the protection of life. Visit 9daysforlife.com to learn more and sign up to receive daily prayers during the novena. Information on planning pro-life activities at your parish may be found here .
January 22: 8 am Mass for Life at St. James Cathedral. Mass will be broadcast via Facebook, and reservations are required for in-person attendance. Also, Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Children: Pray for the unborn on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.
January 22 the Archdiocese of Seattle will be livestreaming an Archdiocesan Mass for Life from the St. James Cathedral on Facebook [votervoice.net]. Reservations [votervoice.net] are required to attend the Mass in person.
January 22: Virtual March for Life in Washington. WA State March for Life says that this will be the culmination of a Week for Life on their Facebook page.
January 24: Diocese of Spokane Mass for Life at 11 AM at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, with Bishop Daly presiding. The Mass will be streamed thru the Cathedral’s website www.SpokaneCathedral.com on the Facebook link.
January 28-29: National Prayer Vigil for Life: This prayer vigil is held on the eve of the March for Life every year. Due to the pandemic the vigil will be closed to the public but will be televised on EWTN.
January 29: National March for Life in Washington, DC
January 31: Diocese of Yakima Annual Mass for Life at 11 AM at St. Paul Cathedral. Mass will be celebrated by Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson, Bishop of Yakima. Reservations for the Mass for Life may be made at https://www.stpaulyakima.org/
Coming…..Save-the-Date: Virtual Catholic Advocacy Day on March 23, 2021
March 23, 2021 for Catholic Advocacy Day (CAD). This year CAD will be conducted virtually and will include opportunities to pray, meet with your legislators, and participate in a social media campaign.