On March 9, 70-plus people from the Diocese of St. Cloud joined others from throughout Minnesota for the first Catholics at the Capitol event. This well-organized gathering included addresses from each of the bishops of Minnesota, outlining the three key issues we were to focus on in our legislative meetings later in the day.
Along with the excellent presentations from the bishops, there were impactful videos for each topic, illustrating the necessity of the bill proposed. We were given materials, talking points, biographies of each of the legislators we would be visiting, and backgrounders on legislative principles.
Slate of issues
The first topic presented was on expanding educational opportunity. Bishop Andrew Cozzens, auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, highlighted that parents are primary educators of their children and should have the opportunity to choose a school where their children can thrive; that to close the education gap in many areas of our state, non-public schools can be partners in this endeavor; and that educational choice has proven to help everyone.