Solidarity, education draws for Catholics at the Capitol

(February 17, 2017 – The Catholic Spirit – Matthew Davis)

In the past, Lucy Johnson might have waffled about attending the Minnesota Catholic Conference’s Catholics at the Capitol event March 9, but not now.

“It’s a different year,” said Johnson, 59, a parishioner of St. Francis de Sales in St. Paul and a former Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women president.

She wants to accompany a like-minded group with the potential to make a big impact, she said. She liked the idea of the local Women’s March in St. Paul Jan. 21, but she did not attend because she felt her pro-life beliefs were not welcome. The energy around the march, however, made her wish she could join in something similar, but in the context of her Catholic faith. She hopes to find it in Catholics at the Capitol.

Held for the first time, Catholics at the Capitol includes both education and advocacy, with a focus on key issues gaining traction in the State Legislature: physician-assisted suicide, poverty relief for families and school choice. The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. event includes a morning program at the St. Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul with prominent Catholic speakers, and an afternoon opportunity for Catholics to apply what they learned in meetings with state lawmakers.

Participants aren’t going to the Capitol as a lobbying group, but rather as individual citizens representing their legislative districts, said Father John Ubel, rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul.

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