Friday February 12, 2016
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February 5, 2016  
 Inside this issue
  WSCC 2016 Catholic Advocacy Bulletin, No. 5  

February 6 concludes the fourth week of the 2016 legislative session, and next week marks the midpoint of this 60-day session. Feb. 5, is the cutoff for all bills to pass out of their policy committee in their house of origin or be considered "dead." Next Tuesday, Feb. 9, is the cutoff for all budget-related bills to be passed by the fiscal committee in their house of origin. The fiscal committees include the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee. 

Monday, Feb. 8, is Catholic Advocacy Day – we look forward to seeing you there. 

A big "Thank you" to all of you who have contacted your legislators this session – your efforts are having an impact as most of the bills WSCC supports are moving through the legislative process. 

ACTION NEEDED: Please take action on the five bills below that need to be passed by a fiscal committee by Feb. 9.

  Toxic Flame Retardants  
  HB 2545 would prohibit a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer from manufacturing, selling, or distributing for sale or for use in this state children's products or residential upholstered furniture containing any of five flame retardants. On Feb. 3, the House Health Care & Wellness Committee passedHB 2545 out of committee and the bill was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. The Senate Health Care Committee heard a similar bill, SB 6440, but passed it out of committee with an amendment that significantly changed it. WSCC supports HB 2545.
Please call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and ask your Representatives to support HB 2545.
  Intergenerational Poverty  
  Addressing poverty from a generational approach requires a shift in analyzing data and making decisions regarding public policy and funding. A child's wellbeing is inextricably linked to the wellbeing of the family. HB 2518 would establish the Intergenerational Poverty Reduction Commission to develop two-generation strategies to reduce intergenerational poverty and welfare dependence in Washington. The bill would require the Commission to develop recommendations on how the state should act to address issues relating to breaking the cycle of poverty. Catholic Community Services (CCS) staff testified on behalf of WSCC in support of HB 2518. The bill passed the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee and was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.
Please call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and ask your Representatives to support HB 2518.
  Homeless Students  
  SB 6298 would seek to stabilize students who are homeless by creating a grant program for school districts to increase identification of homeless students and establish another grant program to link homeless students and their families with stable housing. The bill passed the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee and is in the Senate Ways & Means Committee. WSCC supports SB 6298.
Please call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and ask your Senator to support SB 6298.
  Mental Health  
  HB 2439, supported by WSCC, would establish the Children's Mental Health Work Group to identify barriers to access of mental health services for children and families and provide for depression screening for children ages 11 to 21. The bill passed the House Early Learning & Human Services Committee and was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.
Please call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and ask your Representatives to support HB 2439.
  Statewide Reentry Council  
  After people who have been convicted of crimes are released from jail or prison, they find many obstacles to reentering the community. Some of them fail and land back in jail. This problem is known as recidivism. HB 2791 would create the Washington Statewide Reentry Council for the purpose of promoting successful reentry of offenders after incarceration, and to recommend funding for programs in state and local correctional facilities; as well as for housing; employment; education; and other issues contributing to recidivism. The House Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to pass HB 2791 out of committee on Feb. 3, and the bill was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. WSCC supports HB 2791.
Please call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and ask your Representatives to support HB 2791.
  Bills under Active Consideration  

Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs)
Most people convicted of a crime must pay Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) that include victim restitution, crime victims' compensation fees, etc.HB 1390 would eliminate the interest on most of the debt and limit the sanctions. On Feb. 3, the full House passed HB 1390 by a 97-0 vote and the bill was referred to the Senate Law & Justice Committee. WSCC supports HB 1390.

The Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program is called WorkFirst in Washington State. This program provides eligible adults assistance to find work. HB 1875 would increase the amount of vocational training for WorkFirst recipients from 12 to 24 months, subject to the amount appropriated.  HB 1875 is on the Floor Calendar, awaiting a vote by the entire House. WSCC supports HB 1875.

Parental Notification
SB 5289 would require parental notification for a minor considering an abortion. WSCC supports SB 5289 which remains in the Senate Rules Committee.

Transgender Facilities
SB 6443 would require the Human Rights Commission to repeal its recent rule allowing individuals the use of gender segregated facilities "consistent with their gender expression." WSCC supports SB 6443, which is in the Senate Rules Committee. Another bill addressing gender-segregated facilities is SB 6548. The bill would allow public or private entities to limit the use of gender-segregated facilities. On Feb. 4, the Senate Law & Justice Committee voted SB 6548 out of committee.

Human Trafficking
SB 6376 would recognize January 11 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Washington State. The bill was heard on Feb. 3 by the Senate Law & Justice Committee which voted it out of committee on Feb. 4. WSCC supports SB 6376. Other bills regarding human trafficking, which WSCC supports, continue to progress in the Legislature. HB 1651 / SB 5342 would adjust certain legal definitions concerning human trafficking to protect foreign workers. The House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee voted it out of committee on Feb. 4. On Feb. 5, SB 5342 unanimously passed the full Senate (49-0). SB 5880 would require people who work in certain businesses to complete a minimum of one hour of training in identifying and assisting human trafficking victims. The Senate Law & Justice Committee voted this bill out of committee on Feb. 3.

Breakfast After the Bell
Passed by the House last month, HB 1295 would require each high-needs school to offer breakfast after the bell to qualified students. HB 1295 passed the House and was referred to the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee in the Senate. WSCC supports HB 1295.

Voting Rights
HB 1745 would promote equal voting opportunity in certain political subdivisions by authorizing district-based elections, requiring redistricting and new elections in certain circumstances. The bill passed the House 50-47 on Feb. 4 and was referred to the Senate Government Operations & Security Committee. WSCC supports HB 1745.

Sex-Selection Abortions
Some abortions are done to enable the parents to select the sex of the baby. In nearly every instance, this is done to abort female babies when a couple wants a male baby. SB 6612 would prohibit intentionally performing an abortion with the knowledge that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely on account of the sex of the unborn child. The bill provides sanctions for the provider of the abortion, but does not contain sanctions for the woman seeking the abortion. Some states have prohibited sex-selection abortions as has Canada. The Senate Law & Justice Committee heard SB 6612 on Feb. 2 and voted it out of committee on Feb.4.

Oil Transport Safety
HB 2575 would direct the Department of Ecology to update and improve emergency planning to better respond to oil spills and fires.  On Feb. 1, the bill was referred to the House General Government & Information Technology Committee which heard HB 2575 on Feb. 5.

Charter Schools
SB 6194 would address the Washington Supreme Court's concerns by designating charter schools as schools which are not common schools. After passing the full Senate, the bill has been assigned to the House Education Committee.

  Initiatives to the Legislature  
  There are two types of initiatives:
  1. Initiatives to the People are submitted for a vote of the people at the next general election.
  2. Initiatives to the Legislature are submitted to the Legislature at its next regular session in January. Once submitted, the Legislature must take one of the following three actions:
  • The Legislature can adopt the initiative as proposed, in which case it becomes law without a vote of the people;
  • The Legislature can reject or refuse to act on the proposed initiative, in which case the initiative must be placed on the ballot at the next general election; or
  • The Legislature can approve an alternative to the proposed initiative, in which case both the original proposal and the Legislature's alternative must be placed on the ballot at the next general election.
I-732 and I-735 are Initiatives to the Legislature:
I-732 would impose a carbon emission tax on the sale or use of certain fossil fuels and fossil-fuel-generated electricity, at $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide in 2017, and increasing gradually to $100 per metric ton (2016 dollars adjusted for inflation), with more gradual phase-in for some users. It would reduce the sales tax rate by one percentage point over two years, increase a low-income sales tax exemption, and reduce certain manufacturing taxes. The Senate Energy and Environment & Telecommunications Committee has scheduled a hearing on I-732 for Feb. 9. I-735 requests the state congressional delegation to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution regarding campaign finance law reform. The proposed Constitutional amendment would provide that:
  • The judiciary may not interpret the First Amendment of the Constitution, protection of free speech, to include the spending of money.
  • Government is fully empowered to regulate campaign financing to protect against undue influence over government and the political process, and that all political contributions and expenditures must be disclosed prior to an election.
The House State Government Committee heard I-735 on Feb. 2 and passed it out of committee on Feb. 3. The Senate Government Operations & Security Committee will hear I-735 on Feb. 11.
  Bills Not Passed Out of Policy Committees  
  SB 6586 would require the Dept. of Social & Health Services to collect and report information on the safe surrender of newborn children. An example of a safe surrender would be someone leaving a newborn baby at a fire station. The Senate Human Services and Mental Health & Housing Committee heardSB 6586 on Feb. 4 but no vote was taken. WSCC supports SB 6586SB 6418 concerns the safety of oil transport. The bill received a hearing by the Senate Energy and Environment & Telecommunications Committee last month but was not scheduled for a vote.The House Judiciary Committee heard two gun control bills; but did not schedule them for a vote:
  • HB 1747 would improve the safety of stored firearms.
  • HB 2372 would revise requirements for the disposition of forfeited firearms in the custody of local law enforcement agencies and the Washington State Patrol.

Click here to view WSCC bulletins on our website.

The Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC) is the public policy voice of the Catholic Bishops of Washington State.


The Collection for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), to be taken up February 20-21 in our Diocese, works at home and abroad to give aid to struggling, poor, and underrepresented families. The six worldwide organizations supported by the collection provide humanitarian aid, pastoral support, and disaster relief to our suffering brothers and sisters around the globe. This collection offers an opportunity for each of us to help Jesus in disguise.

This collection is taken up once every three years, part of a twice-yearly cycle of six national collections supported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. A donation is given from the Annual Catholic Appeal each of the other two years. Many parishes also collect funds for CRS using Operation Rice Bowl each year.

“Please give generously to The Catholic Relief Services Collection,” said Bishop Joseph Tyson. “Your support truly makes a difference.”

This collection is optional. If a collection is not taken up in your parish, make your check or money order payable to: "Catholic Relief Services Collection" and send directly to:

     Catholic Relief Services Collection

     Office of National Collections

     United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

     P. O. Box 96278

     Washington DC 20090-6278 

Letter from Bishop Joseph Tyson English Spanish

Bulletin Insert English Spanish

Bulletin Announcements (bilingual)

Pulpit Appeal (bilingual)


Rite of Election Instructions

Accompanying this memo please find documents, in English and Spanish, to be used by pastors and directors of the Rite of Christian Initiation program in parishes for the upcoming Rite of Election planned for the afternoon of Sunday, February 14 at 3:00pm at Holy Family Parish in Yakima.  Links to the documents will be included in the next few weekly mailings as well.


On Sunday, February 14, from 1:30 to 3:00 PM at Christ the King Church, 1111 Stevens Dr., Richland, WA, Jessie Dye, Program and Outreach Director for Earth Ministry (www.earthministry.org) will present an overview of Pope Francis' powerful message on the environment. Jessie was formerly the Special Assistant to the Vicar General, Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle. The encyclical, which builds on writings from Pope Saint John XXIII through Pope Benedict XVI, emphasizes that environmental protection is central to Catholic faith. The Pope asked that we "enter into dialogue with all people about our common home." Please join us for this important discussion.


(Photo shows Pope Francis venerating an image of Saint Francis of Assissi embracing a leper.  In his Encyclical, the Holy Father particularly notes a concern for the poor in urging a dialogue on the environmental challenges facing the world.)



UPDATED: Parish Pilgrimages to St. Paul Cathedral During The "Year of Mercy"
year of mercy logoDear Fathers:
Kindly note the correspondence you received from Monsignor Ecker last year on the "Year of Mercy."  The memo includes a schedule of Sundays when your parish will be remembered in prayer at the Cathedral during this Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis.  While you and your parishioners are welcome at the Cathedral at any time, your scheduled Sunday may be an opportune time for parishioners to visit, walk through the Holy Door, and gain, if they wish, the plenary indulgence tied to the "Year of Mercy."  Please publicize for your parishioners the information from the Very Rev. Michael Ibach, our Judicial Vicar, in English and Spanish, on how the indulgence may be gained.  If you would like to adjust your assigned date, contact Monsignor Ecker.  
+Bishop Joseph Tyson


The Collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign, to be taken up in our Diocese January 23-24, provides grants to Catholic organizations that share our experience of faith, worship, and witness through television, radio, social media, podcasts, and print media. Please support this important work and be generous in the collection. Your generosity is a direct act of witness in itself, as you facilitate the communication of the gospel message.  Fifty percent of the collection stays in the Diocese to assist our local efforts.  The following resources are attached:

Letter from Bishop Joseph Tyson

Bulletin Insert

Bulletin Announcements

Pulpit Appeal



La Colecta para la Campaña Católica de la Comunicación, que es el 23-24 de enero en nuestra Diócesis, otorga subvenciones a organizaciones católicas que comparten nuestra experiencia de fe, veneración y testimonio a través de los sitios de la television, la radio, los medios sociales, los podcasts y la prensa escrita. Por favor, apoye esta importante labor y contribuya generosamente a la colecta. Su generosidad es, en sí, un acto directo de testimonio ya que usted facilita así la comunicación del mensaje del Evangelio. Cincuenta porciento de la colecta permanece en la Diócesis para ayudarnos en nuestras esfuerzas locales. Los recursos adjuntos son:

Carta del Obispo Joseph Tyson

Folleto para Boletines

Avisos para Boletines

Llamado a la Parroquia

prepares logo
Dear Friends:  
We've worked long and hard over a nearly two year planning process with Catholic Charities across the state but the good news is that our PREPARES site is live and running! http://www.preparesforlife.org/
You will recall that PREPARES is an initiative of the Washington State Bishops and the Catholic Charities agencies across our state to partner with our parishes so that women facing crisis pregnancy are not alone. We are with them to talk the journey with their child and their family for the first five years.  This is how a mother PREPARES for life! Check the website out and put the link in your parish bulletins and local parish webpages!
+Bishop Joseph Tyson

Francis opens the Holy Door: mercy must precede judgement

Vatican City, 8 December 2015 (VIS) – This morning at 9:30, in the presence of 60,000 faithful in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father celebrated Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The celebration preceded the opening of the Holy Door, the gesture with which the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy began. In his homily the Pope spoke about the fullness of grace as revealed in Mary, which is capable of transforming the heart. He described the Holy Year as a gift of grace that leads us to discover the depth of the Father's mercy and, finally, he recalled the other door opened to the world by the Vatican Council II fifty years ago, allowing the Church to encounter the men and women of our time.

The following is the full text of the homily:

“In a few moments I will have the joy of opening the Holy Door of Mercy. We carry out this act – as I did in Bangui – so simple yet so highly symbolic, in the light of the word of God which we have just heard. That word highlights the primacy of grace. Again and again these readings make us think of the words by which the angel Gabriel told an astonished young girl of the mystery which was about to enfold her: 'Hail, full of grace'.

The Virgin Mary was called to rejoice above all because of what the Lord accomplished in her. God’s grace enfolded her and made her worthy of becoming the Mother of Christ. When Gabriel entered her home, even the most profound and impenetrable of mysteries became for her a cause for joy, a cause for faith, a cause for abandonment to the message revealed to her. The fullness of grace can transform the human heart and enable it to do something so great as to change the course of human history.

The feast of the Immaculate Conception expresses the grandeur of God’s love. Not only does he forgive sin, but in Mary he even averts the original sin present in every man and woman who comes into this world. This is the love of God which precedes, anticipates and saves. The beginning of the history of sin in the Garden of Eden yields to a plan of saving love. The words of Genesis reflect our own daily experience: we are constantly tempted to disobedience, a disobedience expressed in wanting to go about our lives without regard for God’s will. This is the enmity which keeps striking at people’s lives, setting them in opposition to God’s plan. Yet the history of sin can only be understood in the light of God’s love and forgiveness. Sin can only be understood in this light. Were sin the only thing that mattered, we would be the most desperate of creatures. But the promised triumph of Christ’s love enfolds everything in the Father’s mercy. The word of God which we have just heard leaves no doubt about this. The Immaculate Virgin stands before us as a privileged witness of this promise and its fulfilment.

This Extraordinary Year is itself a gift of grace. To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them. It is he who seeks us! It is he who comes to encounter us! This will be a year in which we grow ever more convinced of God’s mercy. How much wrong we do to God and his grace when we speak of sins being punished by his judgement before we speak of their being forgiven by his mercy! But that is the truth. We have to put mercy before judgement, and in any event God’s judgement will always be in the light of his mercy. In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love, of tenderness. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things.

Today, here in Rome and in all the dioceses of the world, as we pass through the Holy Door, we also want to remember another door, which fifty years ago the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council opened to the world. This anniversary cannot be remembered only for the legacy of the Council’s documents, which testify to a great advance in faith. Before all else, the Council was an encounter. A genuine encounter between the Church and the men and women of our time. An encounter marked by the power of the Spirit, who impelled the Church to emerge from the shoals which for years had kept her self-enclosed so as to set out once again, with enthusiasm, on her missionary journey. It was the resumption of a journey of encountering people where they live: in their cities and homes, in their workplaces. Wherever there are people, the Church is called to reach out to them and to bring the joy of the Gospel, and the mercy and forgiveness of God. After these decades, we again take up this missionary drive with the same power and enthusiasm. The Jubilee challenges us to this openness, and demands that we not neglect the spirit which emerged from Vatican II, the spirit of the Samaritan, as Blessed Paul VI expressed it at the conclusion of the Council. May our passing through the Holy Door today commit us to making our own the mercy of the Good Samaritan”.

Following the Holy Mass, the Pope, followed by the cardinals, bishops and priests who participated in the rite, proceeded to the vestibule of the Basilica to open the Holy Door. First, he greeted and embraced Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and then walked alone to the Door where he recited the words of Psalm 118: “Open to me the gates of justice.”

Francis pushed against the Door with his hands until it opened and then prayed a moment before entering the Basilica. The Pope emeritus then entered, followed by the cardinals, bishops, religious and laypeople, including some of Italy's most prominent political figures.

The Jubilee of Mercy is the first extraordinary Jubilee of the 21st century. In the 20th century Pius XI proclaimed a Holy Year in 1933 to commemorate the nineteenth centenary of the death of Christ, and Paul VI inaugurated another in 1966 that lasted five months, dedicated to the closure shortly beforehand of Vatican Council II. St. John Paul II convoked a Jubilee with the Bull “Aperite Portas Redemptori” the Holy Year of Redemption in 1983, for the 1950th anniversary of the Redemption.

Upcoming Events

January 31-February 7, 2016

Catholic Schools Week

February 14, 2016

Rite of Election (Holy Family Church, Yakima)


bishop tyson-small

Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson
Bishop of Yakima

Bishop's Homilies & Statements


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Dear Fathers,

Earlier this evening in Rome I received the following request for prayers from Joan Rosenhauer, executive vice president of U.S. Operations for Catholic Relief Services.  Your prayers, and those of all the faithful in the diocese, will be most appreciated.  I have attached a prayer service and petitions provided by CRS.  I would also encourage you to consider offering a daily Mass in the near future, using the readings of the day, “For the Preservation of Peace and Justice” (no. 30 of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions).  Here is Ms. Rosenhauer's message:

Dear CRS Partners:

Your prayers are needed for peace in Sudan and South Sudan!

Southern Sudan became the world’s newest nation after a referendum that was, against all odds, peaceful and orderly. It is a testimony to the power of prayer and the will of people who insisted that a peaceful future is possible for this war-torn region. You were among them. Your prayer, your advocacy and your support for peacebuilding efforts in Sudan were an essential part of the global effort that worked.

But the hope and progress could be erased if the outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan are not settled. Escalating violence is threatening the future of South Sudan and ongoing conflict in Darfur, as well as along the border of Sudan and South Sudan--in Abyei, the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile--is jeopardizing stability for all of the Sudanese people.  We are asking again for your prayers for all the people of Sudan.

We offer you a brief prayer and intercessions, along with a prayer service for the Sudanese people.  

Thank you for everything you do for our brothers and sisters around the world and your continued prayers for the people of Sudan and South Sudan.

Peace & Blessings,
Joan Rosenhauer