Papal Honors Conferred for Distinguished and Outstanding Service

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To the surprise and delight of FCCB staff, family and friends, at the closing of the Red Mass three individuals were presented with papal honors: the Benemerenti Medal and the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. These two awards are among the highest honors the pope can bestow on any person.

Pictured L to R: D. Michael McCarron, Sheila Hopkins, Archbishop Wenski and Kenneth Roeder

Pope Francis appears for the first time on the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 13. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected the 266th Roman Catholic pontiff.
March 18 – March 22, 2013 THIRD WEEK OF THE 2013 REGULAR LEGISLATIVE SESSION Each Friday afternoon during the 60-day Session, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) provides a summary of activity on priority bills and other items of interest at the Capitol. For additional legislative action on bills closely monitored by the Conference, see the legislative bill report, which is updated on a daily basis.


Highlighted Activity for the Week Florida Catholics Visit the Capitol to Promote Human Life and Dignity and the Common Good More than 300 Catholics from Florida’s seven dioceses gathered in Tallahassee this week for Catholic Days at the Capitol. Before attending meetings with legislators, participants were briefed on four important legislative proposals to discuss with their lawmakers: Infants Born AliveStudent SafetyLegal Immigrant KidCare and the Marriage Education Handbook.

L to R: Bishop Noonan,
Rep. Precourt, Michael Sheedy
Senator Flores L to R: Bishop Lynch, Rep. Corcoran,
James Herzog

At a Catholic Days luncheon, the bishops honored Sen. Anitere Flores and Rep. Steve Precourt with the Defensor Dignitatis (Defender of Dignity) Award and Rep. Richard Corcoran with the Defensor Parentum (Defender of Parents) Award. For more about the award recipients, see the following news release.

Diocese of Orlando participants

Group photos of Catholic Days participants by (arch)diocese are available online.

Click here to view and print photos

Bishops of Florida Discuss Policy Issues with Governor Scott The bishops have been meeting with governors since the early 1980s. These annual meetings have helped to establish a respectful working relationship so that the Church and government can together work to enhance the common good and defend the life and dignity of all of our state’s residents. Courtesy Office of the Governor

‘Come, Holy Spirit’ The 38th annual Red Mass of the Holy Spirit was celebrated by the bishops of Florida on Wednesday evening at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More. Catholic Days at the Capitol participants, Governor Scott, legislators and agency officials joined members of the community to pray for divine inspiration and guidance for all those serving in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.


Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee delivered the homily. In it he asked that we, “Take some time each day – even if only for a few moments during the course of a day, or first thing in the morning before the day gets started, or even at night when you might have some precious quiet time – to pray the simple words “Come, Holy Spirit”. He stated, “This short and simple prayer acknowledges the gift we have been given, and it expresses our desire to live and be guided by the Spirit of God in whatever we do.”

 

Senator David Simmons, District 10, Altamonte Springs and Representative Jeanette M. Nuñez, District 119, Miami served as Red Mass lectors.

Pictured: Top – Bishops of Florida at altar Center Top – L to R: Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg; Bishop John G. Noonan of Orlando; Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami; Bishop Felipe J. Estévez of St. Augustine; Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito of Palm Beach; and Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Center Bottom – Homilist, Bishop Gregory L. Parkes, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee Bottom Left – Sen. Simmons Bottom Right – Rep. Nuñez

Papal Honors Conferred for Distinguished and Outstanding Service To the surprise and delight of FCCB staff, family and friends, at the closing of the Red Mass three individuals were presented with papal honors: the Benemerenti Medal and the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. These two awards are among the highest honors the pope can bestow on any person.

Pictured L to R: D. Michael McCarron, Sheila Hopkins, Archbishop Wenski and Kenneth Roeder

Kenneth L. Roeder, director for administration, and Sheila Hopkins, director for social concerns/respect life, each received the Benemerenti Medal. This honor was instituted by Pope Gregory XVI in 1832 and is conferred on those who have exhibited long and exceptional service to the Catholic Church, their families and community. The word benemerenti means ‘to a well deserving person’.
Dr. D. Michael McCarron, executive director of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award (for service to the Church and to the Pope), which was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 and is awarded for distinguished service to the Catholic Church and to the Papacy.

 

SAVE THE DATE – 2014:
Catholic Days at the Capitol, March 18-19, 2014 Red Mass of the Holy Spirit, March 19, 2014
Legislative Action

LIFE AND DEATH Infants Born Alive Measure Receives Bi-Partisan Support HB 1129 (Pigman) was passed on Tuesday by the House Health Quality Subcommittee (10-2). The bill provides that an infant born alive during or immediately after an attempted abortion is entitled to the same rights as any child born alive in the course of child birth. Currently at least 28 states have protections for infants born alive following an abortion procedure, however; in Florida, there are no requirements to report what happens to an infant born alive and no penalties for failing to render medical care to the infant. Companion SB 1636 (Flores) has been referred to Senate Health Policy.

SOCIAL CONCERNS Committee Passes Bill to Protect Unborn Victims of Violence On Wednesday, SB 876 (Stargel) passed Senate Health Policy (6-3). The bill provides that a person who engages in criminal conduct that causes the death of, or bodily injury to an unborn child commits a separate offense. Companion HB 759 (Ahern) is now in its first stop, the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.
In-State Tuition for Children of Immigrants Passes Two Committee Stops HB 7051 (Nuñez) was passed by both the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee and Education Committee this week. The measure allows students who are U.S. citizens and attended high school in Florida for three years to be eligible for in-state tuition, regardless of their parents’ immigration status. The bill also includes a provision that allows veterans who reside in Florida while enrolled in an institution of higher education to be classified as residents for tuition purposes. Similar measures in the Senate have yet to be heard in committee.
Handbook to Provide Resources for Healthy, Successful Marriages Passes First Committee HB 1163 (Baxley), which provides for the creation of a Florida Marriage Handbook, passed the Healthy Families Subcommittee (7-5) on Monday and has moved to the House Appropriations Committee. The handbook would be updated every 10 years and provide information related to forming and maintaining long-term marital relationships and include resources dealing with conflict resolution, communication skills, financial management and parenting skills. The bill establishes a Marriage Education Committee that would create the book. The Senate companion, SB 1586 (Stargel), has been referred to Children, Families, and Elder Affairs.

EDUCATION School Safety Bill Picks Up Amendment; Continues to Move Through Committees After being amended, SB 284 (Negron) was unanimously passed on Monday by Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security. In addition to requiring response agencies that already notify public schools about local emergencies to also notify private schools, the amended bill allows both public and private schools to maintain a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors for use if a student is having an anaphylactic reaction. Companion, HB 369 (La Rosa), was similarly amended on Friday and passed unanimously by the Local and Federal Affairs Committee. James Herzog, associate director for education, expressed support for the bills at both the Senate and House committee meetings.

Additional Bills Seeing Action
For descriptions of these bills, please see the Legislative Report.

CS/SB 164 (Detert) – Children in Foster Care – Senate Read Second Time SB 86 (Flores) – Distribution of Materials Harmful to Minors – Favorable by Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice (12-0) HB 113 (Diaz, M.) – Distribution of Materials Harmful to Minors – Favorable by Judiciary (15-0) SB 618 (Ring) – Accessibility for Disabled Persons – Favorable with CS by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (8-0) CS/HB 607 (Rogers) – Canned or Perishable Food Distributed – Favorable by K-12 Subcommittee (11-0) CS/SB 778 (Thompson) – Transactions in Fresh Produce Markets – Favorable by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs (9-0) CS/HB 93 (Reed) – Homeless Prevention – Favorable by Health & Human Services Committee (13-0) SB 282 (Richter) – Consumer Finance Charges – Favorable by Banking and Insurance (11-0) HB 425 (Goodson) – Consumer Finance Charges – Favorable by Regulatory Affairs Committee (14-0) CS/SB 58 (Hays) – Application of Foreign Law – Favorable with CS by Governmental Oversight and Accountability (6-3) HB 95 (Holder) – Charitable Contributions – House Read Second Time


What to Look for Next Week Due to Passover and Easter holidays, the legislature with have a light schedule next week.
CS/SB 284 (Negron) – Student Safety – Placed on Special Order Calendar, 03/27/13 – If Received


Prior Summaries 

Session Summary: Week 1 

Session Summary: Week 2

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