Vote By Tuesday, November 7 

You can still register to vote by visiting Washington’s Secretary of State webpage.  Remember to drop your signed ballot at an official drop box or postmark it by November 7.  For information about the Catholic Church’s teachings on numerous policy issues, see the USCCB’s publication, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.

As election day approaches, the WSCC’s Political Guidelines may be helpful in determining which political activities the Catholic Church and parishes may and may not engage in. USCCB Guidelines are also available.

Health Care Access for Immigrants

Care for immigrants and increased access to health care for all are two of the WSCC’s legislative priorities.  During the last two legislative sessions, community advocates worked toward increasing health care access for all immigrants, regardless of status.  As a result of the efforts, documented and undocumented immigrants may now access Washington Healthplanfinder to purchase health insurance during open enrollment, occurring now through January 15. Learn more here.  Informational assets available in multiple languages may be found here

WSCC Support for Initiative 2081 (I-2081) 

The WSCC supports Initiative 2081 (I-2081), which would establish a parents’ bill of rights for parents of children in public schools. In the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, families are a central social institution that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. I-2081 strengthens family rights. Visit our website for more information.

At the discretion of pastors, signatures for this initiative may be collected at parishes. Parishioners must obtain approval from pastors prior to collecting petition signatures on church grounds. I-2081 is an initiative to the Legislature, and petitions are due to the Secretary of State in December. It is recommended that completed petitions be submitted to organizers around December 15. To qualify for legislative action, 324,516 valid signatures must be collected. The Secretary of State recommends collecting 15-20% more than this number to guard against signatures that are invalidated due to non-registration or duplication. 

If you would like to collect signatures, contact the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) at or (425) 608-0242 to request petitions. Only official petition forms will be accepted by the Secretary of State.  Please do not print your own copies. The FPIW is not a Catholic organization nor affiliated with the Catholic Church. They are working on I-2081 efforts and have graciously offered to serve as a distributor and collector of petitions. 

Signed petitions should be returned to campaign organizers, who will process and count petitions and officially submit them to the Secretary of State. Please return signed petitions to: 

Family Policy Institute of Washington
PO Box 975 
Lynwood, WA 98046

Click here to find a location to sign a petition as an individual.  Please note that the website host, Let’s Go Washington, is not affiliated with the Catholic Church nor the WSCC.  The inclusion of their petition location map in this bulletin should not be viewed as an endorsement of the organization. 

USCCB Fall Plenary Assembly

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops will gather for the 2023 Fall Plenary Assembly on November 13-16. The full meeting agenda has not yet been published, but anticipated agenda items include updates on the 2021-2024 Synod of Bishops; the U.S. bishops’ Eucharistic revival initiative and national congress; the Institute on the Catechism; the recently-launched mental health campaign; a discussion and consideration of the reauthorization of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; a new introductory note and materials supporting Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the bishops’ teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics; and the approval of a framework for indigenous ministry.  Public sessions of the assembly on November 14 and 15 will be livestreamed at:  News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations, and other materials will also be posted on that page. 

World Day of the Poor 

This year the World Day of the Poor is on November 19.  Read Pope Francis’s 2023 World Day of the Poor message hereThe USCCB released this statement encouraging the faithful to give to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) to commemorate the World Day of the Poor.  The CCHD is the USCCB’s domestic anti-poverty program. Learn more about poverty in America through Poverty USA, a USCCB educational resource.

Prayers for Peace in the Holy Land

Following the October 7 Hamas raids into Israel, Pope Francis called for a Day of Prayer, Fasting, and Penance on October 27.  The USCCB released this statement calling for prayers for peace in the Holy Land earlier in October.  Archbishop Paul Etienne also echoed these calls for prayer in this video. For the latest on Pope Francis’s response to ongoing conflicts, see Vatican News.

National Catholic Mental Health Campaign

The USCCB kicked off a National Catholic Mental Health Campaign on October 10 with a novena that may found here.  Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Robert Barron, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, released this full introductory statement about the campaign.  The USCCB will host roundtables with key Catholic leaders to discuss how mental illness touches every person’s life and how to stand against any kind of stigma. The roundtables will also discern proactive measures to move forward.  Additionally, the statement calls for Catholics and people of good will to advocate for bipartisan legislation and policies that address the severe lack of health care resources for prevention and treatment of mental health conditions. A resource page for the ongoing campaign may be found here.  Increasing access to behavioral health services is a legislative priority of the WSCC.

Solemnity of Christ the King and Religious Liberty 

November 26 is the feast of the Solemnity of Christ the King.  The Solemnity of Christ the King feast day was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI with the encyclical Quas primas.  The feast day was born out of resistance to secularization and nationalism.  It was intended to address those who sought to eliminate Christian influence from political life.  As such, the Solemnity of Christ the King is an opportunity to remember the Church's dedication to religious freedom.  Religious freedom is freedom of worship and respect for freedom of conscience.  For more information about the Solemnity of Christ the King and religious freedom, see the USCCB statement, Our First, Most Cherished Liberty, and read about religious liberty on the USCCB website. In the nine days preceding the Solemnity, you are invited to participate in this Novena to Christ the King beginning on November 17. Advocating for religious liberty is a legislative priority of the WSCC.

Good News and Events from Around the State

Excerpt from the Report on the MRS Delegation Trip to Diocese of Yakima

After a multi-year pause on visitations due to the pandemic, the USCCB’s office of Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers (PCMRT) renewed its migrant worker-focused delegation visits on August 27-30, 2023 to the Diocese of Yakima. In its daily work, PCMRT develops catechetical, liturgical and evangelization materials for use with farmworkers, the promotion of regional, diocesan and local gatherings of persons involved in ministry with farmworkers, and assistance to the USCCB Migration and Refugee Services’ Policy Office on the development of statements and positions regarding legislation affecting farmworkers. To this end, these annual delegation trips provide an opportunity to meet and pray with our brothers and sisters in farm work and the ministry leaders who accompany them, and to provide clarity about the cultural, economic, and spiritual challenges that migrant workers confront while living and working in the United States. The full report of the visit was published in October and may be accessed here.

Thank You, Respect Life Advocates

Thank you to the faithful who participated in Respect Life activities during the month of October.  Pictured above, in the Diocese of Spokane, Bishop Thomas Daly lead a candlelit Eucharistic Procession through the campus of Gonzaga University as part of the annual Memorial for the Pre-Born at the beginning of the month.  Also pictured above, advocates participated in the Walk for Life Northwest in Spokane on October 15.

October 21 Mass in honor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha

On October 21, a Mass was celebrated at St. James Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Seattle to honor St. Kateri Tekakwitha and the 11th anniversary of her canonization.  As this previous Northwest Catholic article recounts, the miracle that led to St. Kateri’s sainthood occurred locally under the jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Seattle.  The Mass was celebrated by Father Michael Ryan and assisted by Deacon Carl Chilo, Director of Multicultural Ministry and Deacon Scott Aikin, who delivered a powerful homily and drummed and sang a native song. 

Important Dates           

November 1  Black Catholic History Month Begins
November 1 National Native American Heritage Month Begins
November 7 Election Day
November 19 World Day of the Poor
November 23 Thanksgiving
November 26 Solemnity of Christ the King
December 3 Advent begins
December 8 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
December 17 Pope Francis’s birthday
December 25 Christmas
January 1 Solemnity of Mary Mother of God
January 1 World Day of Peace 
January 8 2024 State Legislative Session Begins

WSCC Staff

We invite you to contact us at any time.

Jean Welch Hill, Executive Director

Adrienne Corpuz Joyce, Director of Policy & Communications

Tracey Wilson Yackley, Operations Manager


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