Inside this issue
  A Responsible Voter is an Informed Voter: Do You Know Where the Candidates Stand?  
 

Each election cycle, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) conducts the Candidate Questionnaire Project in an effort to assist Catholics and the broader community with the obligation to become informed voters. The FCCB has invited all 2020 U.S. Congressional and Florida Legislative candidates on the ballot in the Primary and General Elections to share their positions on ten public policy issues concerning human life and dignity and the common good. Candidates are offered the opportunity to state their positions as well as provide optional comments on each question.

Before casting your ballot, take the time to see where the candidates stand on several issues of importance. View candidate responses.

Vote-by-mail and early voting is underway for the Primary Election on Tuesday, August 18. Early voting locations and times are available through the Division of Elections or by checking with your county Supervisor of Elections.
 

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  Culture of Life Conference to be Held Virtually, October 24, 2020  
 

The annual Florida Culture of Life Conference, formerly known as the state Respect Life Conference, keeps with Church teaching that all human life has dignity and is to be protected. This year's conference, hosted by the Diocese of Palm Beach, will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virtual conference promises to be an informative and uplifting event with speakers on a variety of life topics, including the unborn, theology of the body, end of life, and the death penalty. 

More information can be found at: www.ccdpb.org/respectlife2020
A donation of $25.00 is suggested when registering.

The Conference is jointly sponsored by the State Pro-Life Coordinating Committee and the Florida Catholic Conference and is hosted annually by one of the seven dioceses in Florida. All ministry leaders, parishioners and community members who seek to become more effective witnesses to the culture of life are invited to this special event.
 

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  COVID Impacts the Imprisoned and Those Who Minster to Them  
 

"For I was...in prison and you visited me." (Mt 25:35, 36) The Catholic Church in Florida aims to live out this corporal work of mercy with hundreds of volunteers involved in ministries to the incarcerated throughout the state.

Due to the COVID pandemic, volunteers have largely been unable to visit the imprisoned since mid-March. As of August 12, the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) reports 12,988 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 and 70 inmates have died due to the coronavirus. 1,866 DOC staff members, including Secretary Mark Inch and Deputy Secretary Ricky Dixon, have also tested positive. We invite you to pray this COVID-19 prayer of solidarity for all of them.
 
With visits suspended, there are other ways to support those who are incarcerated and the ministries that serve them. To find out more, please contact your local diocesan Jail and Prison Ministry office:  The bishops have consistently expressed their concerns with mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on those who are poor and minorities. In response to the concerns for those who are incarcerated, which have only been exacerbated by COVID, we look forward to the Florida legislature passing proposals in the 2021 session which would expand compassionate release for those who are ill and elderly in addition to allowing judges to downward depart from mandatory minimum sentences for low level, first time drug possession. To see how your candidates for State House and State Senate responded to a question regarding mandatory minimum sentences, please visit our Candidate Questionnaire Project.
 

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  Catholics Across the Aisle: New Episodes Released  
 

Two new episodes of the FCCB's podcast, Catholics Across the Aisle: Commentary on Public Policy and Civic Life, are now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

FCCB Executive Director Michael Sheedy sits down with Bishop Felipe J. Estévez of the Diocese of St. Augustine to discuss the death penalty and why we as Christians should fight to end its use. 

In our most recent episode, Michael Sheedy and Ashley Feasley, director of policy for USCCB Migration and Refugee Services, discuss the state of immigration in our country and how our Catholic faith calls us to love with open arms.

We encourage you to subscribe, listen, rate, and review our podcast to help us grow our audience. Please share it with your friends, family, fellow parishioners, and anyone who you think may be interested in the topics we are discussing.

Please stay tuned for future episodes.
 

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  Mike Barrett Joins FCCB as Associate for Education  
 

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) is pleased to announce that Michael T. ("Mike") Barrett, Esq. has joined the staff as an associate for education. Barrett serves as a professional resource person in education matters; coordinates, monitors and advocates issues relating to government programs affecting Florida Catholic schools, their administrators, faculty, and pupils; and represents Catholic education at the state level in Florida and in coordination with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at the federal level. He represents the FCCB with the Florida Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools (FAANS) and maintains relationships with various school-choice organizations and special needs groups.
 

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  Recent News from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)  
   

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August 12, 2020

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Words of Wisdom


"We are born with a seed of dissatisfaction in search of fulfillment. Our heart, even without knowing it, thirsts for the encounter with God and seeks it, many times taking the wrong road. When our dissatisfaction encounters Jesus, the life of grace begins."


-- Pope Francis
@Pontifex
Twitter
August 10, 2020


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