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Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 S. Capitol Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933
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Lansing Update: April 21, 2017

Lansing Update publishes on Fridays when the Michigan Legislature is in session and chronicles legislative activity of interest to Michigan Catholic Conference. Join the Catholic Advocacy Network to receive Lansing Update in your inbox. This week: House and Senate Subcommittees Move 2017–2018 DHHS Proposals Forward; Measure to Eliminate Prostitution Exemption Passes Senate Committee; The Word from Lansing Column: Confronting Michigan's Growing Opioid Crisis. Read more…

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The Word from Lansing Column: Confronting Michigan’s Growing Opioid Crisis

In 2016, Pope Francis described the deep wound drugs have inflicted on our society, calling addiction a “new form of slavery.” Far too many individuals, families, and communities across Michigan are struggling with the painful reality of opioid and prescription drug abuse. The Word from Lansing column for April outlines the impact of the opioid crisis on Michigan and speaks to the need for greater collaboration in combatting abuse and the problems underlying addiction. Read more…

News Release: Television Advertising Underway Promoting the Freedom to Serve

Television commercials now running across Michigan are highlighting the Catholic Church’s freedom to serve others through its charitable, health care, and educational entities, Michigan Catholic Conference has announced. The Freedom to Serve commercials address the right for Catholic organizations to provide services to the general public in accordance with their faith-based mission, without unnecessary or burdensome intervention from the state or federal government. “This advertising project aims to reinforce the notion that faith-based health care, charitable, and educational entities here in the state are an inclusive and diverse component of our local communities that serve all in the spirit of ‘loving thy neighbor,’” said MCC President and CEO Paul Long. Read more…

Children in a classroom in Detroit

The Word from Lansing Column: Promoting the Freedom to Serve Others

The Catholic Church offers education, health care, and social services to those in need, working to uplift the dignity of all who come through its doors. MCC recently produced three short films as part of a statewide television and digital project called Freedom to Serve. The effort addresses the right for Catholic organizations to provide services to the general public in accordance with their faith mission, without unnecessary or burdensome intervention from the government. Visit to view the films and the two commercials on television this month. Read more…

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U.S. Bishops Urge Consideration of Moral Criteria in Congressional Health Care Debate

Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. are discussing possible changes to the federal Affordable Care Act, which could have a significant impact on the U.S. health care system. As health care is a critical issue for the American people and for the Catholic Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is calling for lawmakers to consider several moral principles in any new proposed measure. In a letter to Congress, the U.S. bishops encourage lawmakers to prioritize federal health care policy that respects life and dignity, honors conscience rights, provides comprehensive and high-quality access for all, and that is truly affordable. Read more…

Blueprint of the Michigan Capitol

The Word from Lansing Column: A Blueprint for the Common Good

MCC continually seeks the adoption of policies at the State Capitol that defend the dignity of all and that serve Michigan’s people well, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. In February’s The Word from Lansing column, MCC President and CEO Paul Long discusses the Catholic Church’s rich history in the public realm and outlines the organization’s guiding advocacy principles for the 2017–2018 legislative session. Read more…

Front cover of A Blueprint for the Common Good

Focus Essay: FOCUS: A Blueprint for the Common Good

At the beginning of each biennial session of the Michigan Legislature MCC publishes through FOCUS its advocacy priorities for the next two years. These priorities, entitled A Blueprint for the Common Good, have been approved by the MCC Board of Directors. The document is shared with members of the Legislature, Democrats and Republicans, and provide MCC staff with guidance on important public policy issues as the legislative session advances. Read more…

Middle Eastern children in a school classroom

U.S. Bishops Strongly Oppose Trump Executive Order on Refugee Admissions

On January 27, President Donald Trump issued an executive order regarding the U.S. refugee admissions program. Among other aspects, the order essentially shuts down the program for 120 days, indefinitely suspends the resettlement of Syrian refugees, and calls for a temporary bar on admission to the United States from seven majority Muslim countries of particular concern. Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, chairman of the Committee on Migration for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), stated that the Catholic Church, in collaboration with Catholic Charities, "will work vigorously to ensure that refugees are humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security or our core values as Americans." Read more…

Catholic Schools Week Celebrates Catholic Education in the U.S.

From Sunday, January 29th through Saturday, February 4th, schools across the country are observing Catholic Schools Week with the theme of “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Within the over two hundred Catholic schools in Michigan, students grow in knowledge and values that stay with them for the rest of their lives. In honor of this annual celebration, the Michigan House and Senate adopted House Resolution 9 and Senate Resolution 6, which recognize the many benefits Catholic schools provide for Michigan students and communities. Read more…

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Detroit News Column Highlights Growing Support for School Choice

During National School Choice Week (January 22–28), Americans have been celebrating the wide variety of educational opportunities that provide parents with choices that make a difference for students. A recent poll shows that despite restrictions in Michigan’s Constitution, Michiganders widely support school choice. Dr. Brian Dougherty, superintendent of the Office of Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Dr. Bruce Braun, superintendent for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Schools of Michigan, wrote a column in The Detroit News emphasizing the important role school choice plays in providing quality options for kids in the city of Detroit. Read more…

President’s Immigration Executive Orders Draw Catholic Rebuke

On January 25, President Donald Trump issued two executive orders on immigration policy. In these orders, he called for the construction of a wall at the U.S./Mexico border, a significant increase in the number of immigrant detentions and deportations, and the denial of federal funding to sanctuary cities. The Committee Chair of Migration from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Most Reverend Joe Vasquez of Austin, issued a statement opposing the new measures and expressing support for immigrant families. Read more…

Michigan State Capitol Building

The Word from Lansing Column: A Time to Reflect, a Time to Take Action

During the recent legislative session, Michigan elected officials approved conscience protections for faith-based child placement agencies, provided support to nonpublic schools for the cost of state health, safety, and welfare mandates, prohibited abortion coercion, and passed additional state energy assistance to help Michigan individuals and families, among other measures. Michigan Catholic Conference’s The Word from Lansing column for January highlights several public policy successes from the 2015–2016 legislative session, as well as the importance of continued engagement and action in the 2017–2018 legislative session at the State Capitol. Read more…

Michigan Catholic Conference
(800) 395-5565
(517) 372-3940
510 South Capitol Avenue
Lansing, Michigan 48933
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