In this issue:
New Maryland laws go into effect, live webinars for Respect Life Month on physician-assisted suicide (English and Spanish), Synod Opening Mases, and a new Catholic high school opening this month
New Maryland Laws in Effect on Oct. 1
Hundreds of new laws passed by the General Assembly earlier this year went into effect on Oct. 1. A number address needs of low-income Marylanders, veterans, immigrants, and the incarcerated. Parents will benefit from expanded prenatal care for healthy pregnancies and the addition of changing facilities in public buildings. Other bills will help protect Maryland’s environment.
Among the new laws are a number supported by the Maryland Catholic Conference:
- Prevent sentencing minors to life without the possibility of parole and allow a review of sentencing after 20 years (SB 494)
- Increase the time of educational programming for inmates who have not received a high school diploma or GED (SB 86)
- Streamline the administration of address confidentiality programs to protect victims of domestic violence and human trafficking (SB 109)
- Coordinate mental health services for veterans and immediate family members (HB 605/SB164)
- Require changing facilities (for diaper changing and personal care for adults) in public buildings (HB 321/SB 61)
- Establish pilot program providing mobile laundry services for homeless persons (HB 189)
- Expand data collection for foster youth, including education and financial support, and conduct research regarding child welfare programs (HB 854)
- Add categories for information gathering, the results of which will help inform policies of the State child welfare system (HB 258/SB 592)
- Offer diminution credits for inmates who achieve certain educational milestones (HB 89)
- Increase funding for and provider access to the Maryland Prenatal and Infant Care Grant Program to help ensure a healthy pregnancy for mother and child (SB 777/HB 1349)
- Establish the Hunger-Free Campus Grant Program to address and combat student hunger and basic food necessities (HB 891/SB 767)
- Adjust membership and selection of members of the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities (HB 1207/SB 674)
- Remove mill residue from eligibility as a qualifying biomass in the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio (SB 65)
- Establish a Governor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (HB 15/SB 85)
- Establish an Access to Counsel in Evictions Program and other support for tenants at risk of eviction (HB 18)
The 2022 General Assembly legislative session begins Jan. 13, 2022.
Respect Life Month:
Stopping Physician-Assisted Suicide and More
We hope you can join our experts online today, Oct. 5 (English) and Oct. 14 (Spanish) as they discuss physician-assisted suicide and how to stop it from coming to Maryland, and join in upholding human life during Respect Life Month with these resources.
Prayer. Download the prayer card to St. Joseph (English and Spanish)
Physician-assisted suicide webinars. Join our Facebook Live event today, Oct. 5, 7-8 p.m. Medical and disabilities rights experts will discuss Deadly, Not Dignified: Fighting Physician-Assisted Suicide in Maryland, and, el 14 de octubre, de 7 a 8 p.m., únase con Obispo Bruce Lewandowski, CSsR, y Dra. Grazie Pozo Christie. More resources are online here.
Pro-life intercessions and bulletin announcements
Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Pray, raise awareness and act to end domestic violence
Mental Illness Awareness Week. The Archdiocese of Baltimore has compiled helpful resources on mental health and Saint Luke Institute has free online resources on stress and trauma, plus support for lay ministers.
Footprints Ministry. The Diocese of Wilmington is starting a ministry for families who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death.
World Synod Process Kicks-Off
The Vatican will formally open a worldwide consultation process next weekend, Oct. 9-10, in preparation for the 2023 Synod of Bishops. “For a synodal Church: communion, participation, mission” is an invitation by Pope Francis for “the entire Church to reflect on a theme that is decisive for its life and mission.”
Dioceses worldwide will undertake a listening process that is rooted in prayer and guided by the Holy Spirit. Local opening Masses for the Synod process:
- Archdiocese of Baltimore: Oct. 17, 11 a.m., Cathedral of Mary, Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St., Baltimore
- Archdiocese of Washington, Oct. 17, 7 p.m., Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1726 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC
- Diocese of Wilmington: Oct. 17, 9:30 a.m., Cathedral of Saint Peter, Sixth and N. West Sts., Wilmington
Learn more about the upcoming Synod process:
- Catholic News Service article
- Vatican materials: English | Spanish (the preparatory document is available in additional languages of local parishes: French, German, Italian and Portuguese)
- Payer for the Synod
Bishop Koenig to Bless New Catholic High School
Most Reverend William Koenig, Bishop of Wilmington, will bless the new Ss. Peter and Paul High School in Easton, Md., during a dedication and blessing on Oct. 29, as well as a new family life center and columbarium. The 65,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art high school is four times the size of the old school and includes 20 classrooms, a chapel, fine arts space, and an auditorium. The school’s 160 students started classes in their new school on Sept. 7. Learn more about Ss. Peter and Paul High School in The Dialog.
Red Mass in the Archdiocese of Washington: Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, was principal celebrant of the Red Mass sponsored by the John Carroll Society and held the Sunday prior to the opening of the Supreme Court session. Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer to the United Nations for the Holy See, was the homilist. The Catholic Standard covered the Mass.
Yesterday was the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the environment and animals. The Archdiocese of Washington has lots of great tips on how individuals, parishes and families can care for creation. This week also marks the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis signing the encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, in Assisi.
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