St. Paul, Minn., Mar 6, 2019 / 06:00 am
At a time when, to many Catholics, politics in America seem at odds with faith and morals, Catholics in Minnesota gathered last month to demonstrate their active role in the legislative process.
On Feb. 19, over 1,000 Catholics, hailing from every one of Minnesota's 90 state senate districts, gathered in Saint Paul for a day-long event called "Catholics at the Capitol." The event was organized by the Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), the public policy arm of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.
MCC Executive Director Jason Adkins described the day as "a fantastic experience of helping people overcome their misperceptions about politics, their fear of the process."
Adkins expressed confidence that the day helped participants find "their voice as faithful citizens."
Following the midterm elections of 2018, Minnesota is the only U.S. state with a divided state legislature: a Democratic majority controls the state House of Representatives, while a Republican majority holds sway in the state Senate. With a newly-elected Democratic governor, advocacy by the MCC has focused on the art of the possible.
While meeting with state legislators during the afternoon, Catholics at the Capitol participants were encouraged to voice support for two specific measures, using talking points and handouts provided by the MCC.