Work in the vineyard must continue

In the face of adversity, all of us in the Church must keep tilling the soil so that good things will grow and be ready to harvest from our Capitol in St. Paul.

Good seeds are growing

Great growth is happening to support the poor and vulnerable in Minnesota due in part to your advocacy. Because Catholics across Minnesota urged legislators to put families first, many of our poorest families across the state will now benefit from a nation-leading Child Tax Credit. More work is needed to make more families eligible, but this per-child refundable tax credit is expected to reduce childhood poverty in Minnesota by 20-30%.

Minnesotans who fall on hard times are also now better protected from debt traps by a 36% interest rate cap on payday loans. Additionally, families and individuals, especially those working in low-wage jobs, now have access to earned sick and safe time, thus enabling them to receive one hour of paid time off for every 30 hours worked to care for a sick family member or themselves.

Finally, after a decade of advocating for immigrant families, starting this fall they can apply for a driver’s license and no longer need to fear separation through deportation for simply driving their kids to school, the grocery store, the doctor, or Mass. Our migrant brothers and sisters can also now buy into Minnesota Care, allowing them access to health insurance instead of avoiding necessary care or only making use of costly emergency rooms.

Although there still is much work to be done to defend life, dignity, and the common good, the victories won this session have come from many years of ensuring good seeds have healthy soil in which to grow.

Weeds cannot grow in tilled soil

Despite great adversity, pro-lifers should remain undeterred by the Minnesota Legislature and a swipe of a governor’s pen. Hundreds of advocates showed up for the first United for Life pro-life advocacy day, met with legislators, testified in committee hearings, offered innumerable prayers during First Friday Adoration, and sent 7,361 messages, phone calls, tweets, and videos through our Catholic Advocacy Network, along with hundreds of postcards urging legislators to protect women and their unborn children.

The Legislature has left in place the parental notification requirements for minors seeking an abortion, though the statute is currently struck down through a Ramsey County court case. Fortunately, a group called Mothers Offering Maternal Support (MOMS), is working to challenge that decision.

There is much more tilling to do because the Legislature has gone forward with repealing the remaining commonsense health and safety requirements around abortion, left minimal care requirements for infants who survive an abortion, defunded and repealed the Positive Alternatives to Abortion Grant Program that helps pregnancy resource centers care for women in need, and, among other things, expanded taxpayer funding to include elective abortions.

We must also continue sowing truth about the human person’s integrity as created male or female. This need is most evident with the disturbing passage of bills that promote a false reality of the human person, remove access to the psychological sciences, and impose gender ideology upon vulnerable children, even taking them away from parents who would otherwise protect them from the lasting harms of unnatural hormones and mutilative procedures.

When it comes to industries preying on people, we must till the soil to make it even harder for the recreational marijuana industry to grow despite its now legal status. To keep the most dangerous weeds at bay, we must continue our advocacy for safeguards, such as potency caps, childproof packaging, and more, to the newly forming Cannabis Advisory Council and the Office of Cannabis Management.

With much good accomplished, and so much light needed to dispel the darkness, it is our job as faithful citizens to keep tilling through prayers and building relationships with legislators. So, this summer, set up a coffee meeting with your legislators. Invite others to join you and to join the Catholic Advocacy Network at Because if we truly want to reap a bountiful harvest, we need more laborers.

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