August 3, 2018  
 Inside this issue
  New Faces and Tools at the WSCC  
  It has been a busy summer at the WSCC as updates to our team and the tools we use are being rolled out to better support Catholic advocacy in Washington.  Tim Hunt has started with the WSCC as Director of Communications and Outreach.  Tim joins us after 5 years with the Archdiocese of Seattle Office of Catholic Schools (OCS).  Before working for the Catholic Church, Tim gained valuable experience in business and government relations roles.  He's overseen successful marketing and communications efforts and has experience lobbying in Olympia making him a great addition to our team.
 
We are also excited to launch a new digital platform: WACatholics.org.  In addition to serving as the official web site for the WSCC, WACatholics.org will be a key resource center supporting advocacy on a range of issues from poverty to religious liberty.  WACatholics.org also highlights the amazing impact of the Church here in our state.
 
With these updates to our team and our tools, the WSCC is eager to move forward with a goal of having greater impact on legislative outcomes while building bridges of dialog and understanding between diverse policy viewpoints.  Thanks for your support!
 
Joe Sprague, Executive Director
 

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  WACatholics.org Debuts!  
  The WSCC has launched a new website: WACatholics.org.  This new digital platform will be a key component of a major outreach campaign to encourage more Catholics to join the Catholic Advocacy Network.  Having more Catholics involved in advocacy will boost the Church's effectiveness in influencing public policy in our state.
 
The new website has several important features:
  • English and Spanish versions are offered.
  • Key information is provided on the Church's position on a range of public policy issues, details on key programs sponsored by the bishops, and facts on the positive impact of the Catholic Church and its more than 1 million members in Washington.
  • Dynamic content optimized for mobile devices and tablets
 

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  Have You Voted Yet?  
  Washington's Primary Election day is August 7.  If you are a registered voter and have not received your ballot, contact your county elections department.  Please remember that the primary election ballots must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, August 7. Other voter information can be found on the Secretary of State's website.  

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  Bishops Respond to Immigration Crisis  
 

Calling upon all people of goodwill to assist immigrants and refugees, the Catholic Bishops of Washington State have directed their social service agencies and other programs to assist with the current immigration crisis. "The Catholic Church stands with our brothers and sisters facing the challenges of immigration and we continue to call on national leaders to enact comprehensive immigration reform," said Archbishop J. Peter Sartain.
 
As part of this effort, an online directory of resources - WACatholic.org/immigration-support -  has been developed to provide reliable information related to the immigration crisis and ways to take immediate action including contacting Congressional representatives, volunteering with organizations already helping migrants, enrolling as a prospective foster parent, staying informed, and supporting migrants and refugees through prayer.  Visitors are encouraged to become an active participant in the movement to "Share the Journey."
 

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  Death Penalty "Inadmissible" in All Cases  
  On August 2, the Vatican announced changes to the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the death penalty. Following the teaching of Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis, section 2267 now reads "the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person." Pope Francis also called on Catholics to work for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. For details, click here.  

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  USCCB Begins Prayer and Education Initiative  
 
 
The USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities is initiating a Novena for the Legal Protection of Human Life.  This nine-week effort will include prayer and fasting for the intention that the upcoming change in the membership of the Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. 

The Novena takes place from Friday, August 3, to Friday, September 28.  Individuals are urged to sign up for the Novena as part of the USCCB Call to Prayer at www.usccb.org/pray.
 

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  Religious Freedom Vital to Common Good  
  Addressing a July 30 U.S. Department of Justice conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky spoke of the importance of religious freedom to the Catholic Church.  The chair of the USCCB Committee on Religious Liberty highlighted that "We are called by Jesus Christ to inspire a culture, religious freedom gives us a space to serve, and we can solve social problems better when all of us work together to find a solution."
 
Archbishop Kurtz pointed out what is at risk when religious freedom is not protected: "... when we lose respect for the search for truth, our politics degenerates into power-seeking for the purpose of imposing one's will on others. ... [we lose] respect for basic human dignity ... Religious freedom is vital to the common good."  To read more about Archbishop Kurtz's address, click here.
 

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  Did you know...  
 


...that the Catholic Church employs more than 7,000 people in Washington State?  Read more about the Church's impact in our state at WACatholics.org.
 
 
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