The 2012 Annual Assembly of the Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC) will take as its theme “Religious Liberty in the Public Square.” This year’s assembly comes as the Catholic Church seeks to defend religious liberties from government intrusions, most notably the rule issued earlier this year by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which requires even religious organizations to pay for abortion drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations in their health plans.
The keynote speaker will be The Most Reverend William Edward Lori, S.T.D., Archbishop of Baltimore and chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. Archbishop Lori will discuss the role of religious liberty in the public square.
The assembly will include workshops on a variety of issues, including end-of-life concerns, the recent Supreme Court decision concerning the Affordable Care Act, the influence of money in American politics, the teachings of Vatican II in review, and how church-state relations developed in the debates over the First Amendment and then shaped the early history of the American nation.
The MCC Annual Assembly has become a popular event and draws Catholics from all corners of Missouri to the state capitol in Jefferson City. This year’s assembly is set for Saturday, Oct. 6. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in the 3rd Floor Capitol Rotunda. The keynote address by Archbishop Lori will take place in the historic chamber of the House of Representatives.
Breakout workshops follow the keynote address and then lunch is provided at no charge. The afternoon workshops lead to a brief closing session. There are also activities for youth, including a mock legislature and scavenger hunt inside the Capitol.
The day ends with a Mass concelebrated by the bishops of Missouri. The day is free; there is no registration fee and each participant is given an information packet to take home with them.
For those who need transportation assistance, don’t hesitate to call the MCC at 1-800-456-1679. You can register here. Don’t miss out on this inspiring and informative day. The assembly offers a great way to learn how to take your Catholic faith and apply its principles in the public square that is our great American democracy.