Catholics to make their voices heard at the state Capitol

Informing and empowering Catholics to have an impact in the political arena is the focus of the fourth annual Catholics at the Capitol legislative day Feb. 15 in Lincoln.
Sponsored by the Nebraska Catholic Conference (NCC), this year’s free event includes updates on pending legislation before the Nebraska Unicameral, a presentation by Gov. Pete Ricketts and meetings with state senators, said Tom Venzor, NCC executive director. 
“This is an opportunity for Catholics across Nebraska to advocate at the state Capitol for issues that are important to the church,” he said.
The day begins with registration at 8 a.m. and morning prayer led by Lincoln Bishop James D. Conley at 8:30 a.m. at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln.
Keynote speeches by Ricketts and Father Justin Fulton of the Lincoln diocese, plus legislative updates by NCC staff members highlight the educational program, beginning at 9 a.m.
After the program, people will go to the Capitol to watch the Legislature in action from the legislative chamber balcony, then meet with state senators in the rotunda, Venzor said.
“We will form into groups and instruct them on how to send in a note to ask their senators to come out and see them and to discuss the issues that are important to them as Catholics, and to the bishops and the NCC,” he said.
One bill important to Catholics is LB295, the Opportunity Scholarships Act, which would grant tax credits to individuals and corporations donating to organizations that give scholarships to help low- and middle-income families sending their elementary and high school students to private or parochial schools, Venzor said.
Another important issue is Ricketts’ proposal to eliminate federal Title X funding for organizations offering abortion services.
About 150 people attended the event last year, but the NCC hopes to see that number grow, Venzor said. That’s why the event is being moved to the Cornhusker Marriott from its previous site at St. Mary Church.
Also new this year is an optional free luncheon with several state senators at the Capitol.
WHAT: Catholics at the Capitol
WHERE: Cornhusker Marriott Hotel, 333 S. 13th St., Lincoln
WHEN: Feb. 15; registration at 
8 a.m.; morning prayer at 8:30 a.m.; program at 9 a.m.
COST: Free
TO REGISTER: For luncheon at state Capitol go to


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