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Catholics at the Capitol

“A good Catholic meddles in politics.”

“Legislative issues are won by those who show up to the Capitol.”

These maxims—taken together—are a two-step recipe for success as a faithful citizen.

The first maxim—from Pope Francis—is a reminder of the responsibility for each and every Catholic to engage in the political sphere.

The second maxim—from somebody of nearly equal standing in the Nebraska Catholic community, Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley—is the practical advice that should incentive those of us who want to see positive changes and developments in our laws.

We need to show up and “meddle in politics” in order to have the ability to influence the direction of our laws. You can’t affect change, if you don’t show up.
So, how can we “meddle in politics”?

The best way is to visit www.necatholic.org and register for Catholics at the Capitol!

Catholics at the Capitol is the Nebraska Catholic Conference’s annual legislative advocacy day. Our goal is to educate, equip, and engage Catholics to protect human dignity and advance the common good in Nebraska.

For the last several years, hundreds of Catholic laity and clergy have joined the Nebraska Catholic Conference for a half-day event to bear the light of Christ in the public square at the Nebraska Legislature. The reviews are humbling. Every year we hear from Catholics about their transformative experiences. They communicate to us how empowered they feel to have the knowledge and confidence in talking with their State Senator about issues that matter deeply to them.

This year, however, we have a change in plans—COVID-19 strikes again!

Rather than an in-person event, we’ll be virtual. In addition to going virtual, we’re also splitting the event into three separate events.

While we’ll miss meeting in-person, our hope is that more (virtual) events will provide increased opportunities for you to join us in bearing the light of Christ in the public square!

So, what will each event cover? Thanks, I never thought you’d ask! Here’s a breakdown of each event. And, so you know, you don’t have to attend all three events. If only one or two events work for your schedule, that’s fine. If all of them work, wonderful. Attend what you can.

Tuesday, March 9 (12-1:30 p.m.)—Catholics at Capitol: 2021 Legislative Issues. This first part of our three-part online series will be a condensed version of our annual in-person event. Archbishop Lucas will provide a time of prayer and reflection. Speaker Mike Hilgers will then discuss this year’s legislative session and update us on major and ongoing legislative issues our State Senators are facing. To top it off, NCC staff will give an overview of important bills Catholics should be aware of this session.

Tuesday, March 16 (7:30-9 p.m.)—Catholics at the Capitol: Why a Good Catholic Meddles in Politics. This second part—an evening event—is a chance for you to grab a drink of your choice and tune in for a discussion with Bishop Conley, Lt. Gov. Foley, and Nikki Shasserre. These three incredible people will talk about the practical ways we can fit advocacy into our everyday lives. There will also be time for a Q&A session.
With this being an evening event, we hope those who are usually unable to attend our daytime events have an opportunity to join us for what will be an insightful panel discussion. For you moms and dads at home, get those kids to bed a few minutes early and enjoy everybody’s ideal version of a date night!

Tuesday, March 23 (12-1:30 p.m.)—Catholics at the Capitol: How to Make Your Voice Hear in a Pandemic. This third part will highlight our top priority bills for this session. Sen. Lou Ann Linehan will discuss empowering parents with school choice (LB364) and Sen. Mike McDonnell will discuss how we can close the unemployment gap for immigrants (LB298). These two talented Senators will also share how each of us can be more effective in our legislative advocacy, especially during these pandemic times.

We are excited for this year’s Catholics at the Capitol—and we hope you are, too! Get registered (www.necatholic.org) and see you soon!

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