Remembering MLK, Youth Justice Reform, & Respect Life

Remembering MLK, Youth Justice Reform & Respect Life



Jan. 17, 2022 | Annapolis, MD

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. 

As our nation commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reflects on his legacy:

“…More than a half-century after his death, America faces many challenges — this ongoing pandemic, issues of economic inequality and racial discrimination, violence in our communities, the struggle to welcome immigrants and refugees. In recent years, our nation has also become more polarized and our divisions angrier.

“As we look to our future, let us continue to draw from Rev. King’s wisdom, especially his commitment to the Beatitudes of Jesus, and the principles of nonviolence and love for our enemies.

“In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Rev. King reminds us that we are brothers and sisters, part of a beautiful web of relationships of mutual care, each of us depending on others as others depend on us. ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ he wrote. ‘We are … tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’”

Washington Auxiliary Bishop Roy Campbell, who also is president of the National Black Catholic Congress and a member of the Maryland Catholic Conference Board of Governors, will celebrate the archdiocese’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Mass on Jan. 22.

Session Off to a Big Start 

Nearly 550 bills were introduced in the Senate and in the House of Delegates by the end of day three, and some early hearings on bills have been held.

The Maryland Catholic Conference submitted testimony on three bills that had hearings last week: tax credits for energy efficient upgrades, property tax credit for disabled veterans, and a tax benefit for Marylanders age 100 or more. Our testimony is posted online.

Youth Justice Reform

Our virtual town hall on reform of the youth justice system included a spirited conversation about the need for reform in Maryland. We were grateful to have Senator Jill P. Carter (D-41) and Delegate Sandy Bartlett (D-32) join Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori and our other panelists.

Del. Bartlett announced the Child Interrogation Protection Act (HB 0269) already had 11 co-sponsors on day 1. The matching bill in the senate, SB 0053, was introduced by Sen. Carter. This bill requires that parents be notified if their child is taken into custody and requires a child have an attorney for consultation prior to interrogation.

You can watch the town hall here, or click the graphic below. This also would be a great opportunity for classes and parish groups to learn about and discuss youth reform.

This Week in the General Assembly

Two big items are on the agenda for this week. The legislature will take up redistricting of state legislative districts (congressional districts were changed in December) and Governor Larry Hogan will present his proposed budget for 2022-23.

In Maryland, the governor must submit a proposed budget to the state legislature on the third Wednesday of January. The legislature will review the proposal, hold hearings, make adjustments and then vote on a state budget. This is important to our schools and ministries since the budget includes items such as capital improvements to schools, BOOST scholarships for low-income students, textbook/technology loan programs, and grants to support pro bono and low-cost care for vulnerable Marylanders.

The budget must be enacted within 83 days of the session start, which is a week prior to the end of the 90-day session. If there is no budget within 83 days, the Governor must call for an extended session. That session will start immediately after the regular session if no budget has passed yet. The budget bill becomes law as soon as it is enacted.

Novena for Life Starts Jan. 19 

9 Days for Life is an annual novena for the protection of human life, that runs this year from Jan. 19-27. Each day’s intention is accompanied by a short reflection and suggested actions to help build a culture of life.

Download the novena or sign up to receive the daily prayers via email or text message (English and Spanish). You also can view the daily reflections online, and print flyers with the reflections.

This Thursday, Jan. 20, 5:30 p.m., is the National Vigil Mass for Life, which will be celebrated by Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. Then, on Friday, the Youth Rally and Mass for Life with the Archdiocese of Washington and Cardinal Wilton Gregory will be livestreamed from the Cathedral of St. Matthew, starting at 8:30 a.m. The National March for Life will take place midday.

Pray for Our Elected Officials

Tiffany Farley, executive director for Gabriel Network, leads this week’s prayer for our elected officials. The network of pro-life churches across Maryland and DC empowers women to choose life. With the vision of every vulnerable mother and child being embraced in Christ's love and the care of His people, this non-profit works with the hope that one day abortion may be unthinkable.

Get the prayer (English and Spanish) and links to all prayers for the session at

Of Note

Poverty Awareness Month: Daudi Boma is one of nearly 2,200 individuals who sleep on the streets of Baltimore City or in temporary shelters, according to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which reminds us that “every person counted in that statistic has a story associated with their journey.” Learn more and watch his story, first shared on WJZ-13.

Recipe: SHARE, which provides low-cost, healthy groceries to families in need through volunteer-run locations in the Archdiocese of Washington and Baltimore metropolitan region, is now featuring monthly cooking demonstrations. This month’s feature is Roasted Balsamic Vinaigrette Vegetables


We need you!

The General Assembly is in session. The more people in our network, the stronger our voice!  Network members will get Catholic Advocacy Day and other alerts throughout the legislative session. Sign up below or, if you prefer text, text CATHOLIC to 1-443-764-8765 (you will be asked a couple of follow up questions). Thank you!

The Maryland Catholic Conference is the public policy entity for the Maryland Catholic Church, including the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archdiocese of Washington, and Diocese of Wilmington.