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Maryland budget passes with nonpublic school assistance

March 29th, 2018 Posted in Our Diocese Tags:

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The state operating and capital budgets passed by Maryland General Assembly this week include significant funding increases for Catholic and other nonpublic schools, specifically providing for additional school safety measures and scholarship assistance for low-income students and students with special needs.

The Nonpublic Aging Schools Program, which this year was named the “Senator James E. “Ed” DeGrange” program by members of the Senate, will now provide $7 million for capital improvements to Catholic and other nonpublic schools as part of the fiscal year 2019 capital budget. The allocation will continue to provide $3.5 million for deferred maintenance and infrastructure repairs and renovations, as well as an additional $3.5 million to assist schools in making their schools safer for their students. Schools will received funding for security upgrades on a per-pupil basis, with higher amounts going to schools with greater numbers of lower-income students.

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Maryland Catholic Conference announces new leadership

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The Maryland Catholic Conference announced today that Jennifer Briemann will succeed Mary Ellen Russell as the conference’s new executive director in June. Russell has served as executive director since 2008, and began working at the conference as associate director for education in 1995.

“It has been a joy to work in a professional capacity that so closely aligns with my personal beliefs and passions, and to work alongside colleagues who share that same dedication,” said Russell. “I’m grateful for the unwavering support and leadership that our bishops have devoted to the work of the conference throughout my tenure, and believe we have continued to have a significant impact on improving the welfare of some of Maryland’s most vulnerable populations.”

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Msgr. Hurley’s path to diocese included a beat with the O.C.P.D

February 15th, 2018 Posted in Our Diocese Tags: ,

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(This article first appeared in “Because we are Catholic,” a publication of the Maryland Catholic Conference.)

Twenty years ago he was an Ocean City Police detective with thoughts of joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Now, Monsignor Steven Hurley is second in command at the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, which includes Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

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Catholic bishops of Maryland address immigration issue

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A call to compassion, prudence and cooperation from the Catholic Bishops of Maryland

The issue of immigration continues to raise controversy at both the national and state level, often spurring passionate debate that offers little hope for reconciliation and resolution. This situation urgently calls for the Catholic Church

The Catholic bishops in Maryland on May 30 issued a joint statement calling for all people of faith and good will to come together in a spirit of compassion, prudence and cooperation in addressing the issue of immigration. The bishops also urge state and local elected officials to consider several guiding principles when determining the appropriate relationship between federal immigration officials and local law enforcement. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) See USCCB-MIGRATION-HOPE Jan. 6, 2017.

The Catholic bishops in Maryland on May 30 issued a joint statement, “Addressing Immigration in Maryland, calling for all people of faith and good will to come together in a spirit of compassion, prudence and cooperation in addressing the issue of immigration. 
(CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

and all people of faith and good will to come together in a spirit of compassion, prudence, and cooperation to address the challenges faced by immigrants, elected officials, law enforcement and our communities as a whole. The complexity of federal immigration enforcement policies and their effect at local levels is of particular concern. In Maryland, this is especially the case in light of the unsuccessful efforts to pass state legislation aimed at identifying uniform state parameters for cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents. As more and more local governments in our state take up this issue moving forward, we, the Catholic bishops of Maryland, urge all Marylanders to consider the following principles as a basis for engaging in dialogue as we work toward the common good.

Let us be guided by the words of Pope Francis, who in his historic address to the U.S. Congress reminded us: “… if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us give opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”

We urge state and local elected officials and lawmakers at the executive, legislative and judicial levels to enact and uphold immigration policies that:

  • Respect the spirit of our country’s Fourth Amendment protection against apprehension and searches of persons or homes without probable cause, and against detention beyond normal criminal procedures, while at the same time respecting the necessary role of law enforcement to uphold laws and policies that keep our communities safe.
  • Give priority to ensuring the integrity of families and the ability of working parents to support and care for their children.
  • Build trust with our immigrant communities by establishing a
    clear division of duties between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents so that immigrants feel safe reporting crimes and cooperating in police investigations.
  • Create safe environments by enforcing clearly established consequences for criminal violations of the law.
  • Reduce fear among our immigrant communities by protecting their ability to congregate and move freely at their churches, schools and other community gathering places.

We urge Maryland’s Catholics, other faith communities and all people of good will to:

  • Respect differences of opinion on this issue in a spirit of listening and understanding rather than accusation and name-calling.
  • Engage in the political process and communicate your opinions to your elected officials. We encourage you neither to shy away from the political arena, nor to allow partisan and hyperbolic factions to dominate the political debate on immigration.
  • Seek to learn more about the root causes of immigration and the challenges immigrants face in navigating our country’s complex immigration system.
  • Develop personal relationships with immigrants in your communities and learn firsthand about their hopes and dreams, fears and sorrows.

In closing, we offer a word of hope to our immigrant brothers and sisters who have come to Maryland in search of a better life.

We pray that you will find in the Catholic Church and many other communities in our state places of welcome, fellowship and support. We pledge through our parishes and institutions to minister to you as you learn a new language; as you seek employment, shelter, food, clothing and healthcare; and as you celebrate your faith in a loving God. We thank you for your inspiring example of fortitude, industriousness, and strong family values, and for your contribution to the qualities of life that truly define the greatness of America. May the grace of God bless you and bless our work together to build communities of peace, prosperity and friendship.

In addition to Bishop W. Francis Malooly of the Diocese of Wilmington, the Catholic bishops of Maryland include:

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore; Auxiliary Bishop Adam J. Parker of Baltimore; Auxiliary Bishop Mark E. Brennan of Baltimore;

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington; Auxiliary Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Washington; Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington and Auxiliary Bishop Roy E. Campbell Jr. of Washington.

 

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Maryland news: 2016 U.S. Congress Candidate Survey

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Voters Guide: Maryland Catholic Conference candidate surveys

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About the Survey

Every election year, the Maryland Catholic Conference surveys the state’s candidates for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives about their positions on issues of interest to Catholics. The responses of the Democratic and Republican primary candidates are below.

The candidates were asked to either “Agree” or “Disagree” with a list of issue statements. A blank response to a statement means the candidate did not choose a position on that issue.

Candidates also were given the opportunity to provide 75 words at the end of the survey on why Maryland Catholics should vote for them. Those comments are available on the Maryland Catholic Conference website: www.mdcatholic.org/elections.

Only candidates who responded to the survey are included. For a complete list of candidates, visit www.mdcatholic.org/elections. Each candidate received the survey by email. Non-responding candidates received three additional emails and were contacted at least once by phone.

The Maryland Catholic Conference does not endorse or oppose any candidate, under any circumstance, and no inference of endorsement or opposition should be concluded as a result of the information provided here.

Responses from all of the candidates can also be found on the Maryland Catholic Conference’s website at www.mdcatholic.org. The candidates who did not respond are listed below the survey grid.

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Vote

Vote April 26, 2016 in the primary election. Early voting centers will be open starting Thursday, April 14 through Thursday, April 21. Visit http://www.elections.state.md.us/voting/early_voting.html for more information and for locations.

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How to Find Your State and Federal Congressional Districts

To identify your Congressional districts, go to the Maryland Catholic Conference website www.mdcatholic.org/FindYourLegislator.

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Answer Key

A=Agree

D=Disagree

Blank=No response

D=Democrat

R=Republican

S=United States Senate

H=House of Representatives

 

Survey Questions of Candidates

 

  1. ASSISTED SUICIDE. Congress should not pass legislation to allow physicians to legally prescribe a dose of lethal medication at the request of patients with a terminal illness.

 

  1. CONSCIENCE PROTECTIONS. Congress should pass legislation forbidding governmental bodies to discriminate against individual and institutional health care providers that do not perform, refer for or pay for abortions, such as the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.

 

  1. EDUCATION. Congress should enact legislation that supports the ability of low-income families to choose the education best suited to their children’s needs, such as tax credits for business donations to organizations providing scholarships for K-12 students to attend nonpublic schools or the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.

 

  1. IMMIGRATION. Congress should pass comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform providing a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the U.S., while preserving family unity and restoring due process protections to enforcement policies.

 

  1. JUSTICE REFORM. Congress should enact measures that decrease incarceration rates and recidivism by reducing mandatory minimums and investing in increased rehabilitative services and re-entry programs for offenders, such as the Sentencing Reform Act of 2105.

 

 

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Catholic Lobby Night in Annapolis canceled

February 16th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

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ANNAPOLIS, MD. — The Maryland Catholic Conference has canceled Catholic Lobby Night due to a winter storm warning. The event was scheduled to take place today from 2:30-9:00 p.m. in Annapolis. Lobby Night is an advocacy event that gives Catholic voters the opportunity to speak in person with their elected officials about issues.

“We appreciate all those who planned to attend but out of concern for safety, we feel this is the best decision,” Maryland Catholic Conference Executive Director Mary Ellen Russell said. “Forecasters are predicting that Anne Arundel County could see 4-6 inches of snow with the storm beginning early in the afternoon.”

Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for the Church’s public policy positions before the Maryland General Assembly and other civil officials.

The Conference represents all three dioceses with territory in the state – the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington. Approximately 1.2 million Catholics live in Maryland.

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Maryland governor supports education tax credit bill

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ANNAPOLIS, MD. — In his first State of the State address, Gov. Larry Hogan announced his support for the Maryland Education Credit. The legislation is dedicated to ensuring that every K-12 student in Maryland has access to high-quality, diverse, and affordable education opportunities.

The Maryland Education Credit will provide a tax credit to businesses that donate to nonprofit organizations that support public and nonpublic school students.

“We are grateful that Gov. Hogan mentioned the education tax credit issue during his State of the State address,” Maryland Catholic Conference Executive Director Mary Ellen Russell said. “We understand there are challenges in the budget but the tax credit will leverage private business support for the education of poor kids in both public and nonpublic schools. We look forward to working with the House and Senate to find funding for all students.”

For more information, visit educationmaryland.org.

Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for the Church’s public policy positions before the Maryland General Assembly and other civil officials. The conference represents all three dioceses with territory in the state – the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington. Approximately 1.2 million Catholics live in Maryland.

 

 

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A statement from the Catholic Bishops of Maryland: End of Life Decision Making for the Faithful

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The month of November, which begins with the celebration of the companion feasts of the Solemnity of All Saints and All Souls Day, offers a time for our community of faith to pray in a special way for those who have passed to eternal life. As we remember the saints in heaven, and the souls of all those who have gone before us, this time of year also offers us an opportunity to consider important questions we might face at the hour of our own or a loved one’s death.

On a spiritual level, we pray that our journey of faith each day will lead us to a deeper awareness that this life on earth is transitory, and that our true selves will not be fully revealed until we have passed through death into eternity with God. As we more fully grasp this essential reality, we see more clearly the truth of Pope Francis’ words: “Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.” Read more »

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Maryland Election Information 2014

October 30th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

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