Matt Brower, Executive Director | Montana Catholic Conference

In less than two months, Montana legislators will gather in Helena for the beginning of the 68th legislative session. I anticipate another busy session with numerous bills of specific interest to Catholics and have a good idea of some of the key issues our legislature will be addressing in 2023.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade has again brought the issue of abortion front and center and I expect legislative efforts to address abortion will continue as will our work to support mothers and families in need.

But abortion is not the only “life issue” demanding our prayer and action. Physician-assisted suicide poses an imminent threat to not only our elderly and disabled but to all of society. We have seen progress in our efforts to abolish the death penalty but there remains much work to do. Rights of conscience and religious freedom continue to be threatened and require our committed defense of these precious rights. Those suffering from poverty, the incarcerated, immigrants and refugees, victims of human trafficking all these and more will be the focus of the Montana Catholic Conference’s efforts to bring the healing and peace of Jesus Christ to our broken world.

But this can never be solely the work of our bishops and the conference. Dynamic involvement by all Catholics is critical. Political engagement is really the work of evangelization and it’s work to which all Catholics are called.

In Baptism, we commit to follow Jesus Christ and are sent to proclaim the truth that is Jesus himself into every aspect of human life, including our politics. It is essential that all Catholics bring their voices into that process. Politics should not be left only to lawmakers and lobbyists. Being a faithful citizen doesn’t end with the return of one’s ballot.

One way the MCC helps Catholics to be politically involved during the legislative session is through our electronic advocacy alert network. Through this network we keep Montana Catholics informed about important issues and provide them a means by which they can easily bring their Catholic voice to advocate on legislation. If you haven’t already joined our network, please do so. You can sign up by visiting www. montanacc.org/take-action/.

Policymaking can be messy and confusing, so if you have questions about legislation or the legislative process, don’t hesitate to contact me at 406-442-5761 or director@montanacc.org.

And please keep our lawmakers, government officials and the work of the conference in your prayers.

Categories: Features