Catholics by the thousands joined their bishops who lead the state's 15 dioceses at the Texas Capitol as one voice advocating for a number of issues as legislators met April 4.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is looking to bring people living in poverty together with business leaders, social service providers, government agencies and faith communities under a new neighborhood-based initiative to find long-term solutions to the challenges of being poor.
The Neighborhoods of Hope effort is seen as a way to address the needs of struggling people by hearing from them and then developing a program to address a community's specific needs, explained Jack Murphy, an Atlanta business management expert who serves on the society's National Council.
The U.S. Supreme Court sent a Texas death-row case back to lower courts March 28, saying the inmate's intellectual disability should prevent his execution. The court's 5-3 decision reversed a Texas appeals court ruling that said inmate Bobby James Moore was not intellectually disabled based on state criteria and could face execution.
Several pieces of legislation have the aim of amending or repealing laws and regulations that have kept people with mental disabilities from buying guns.
The numbers: Capital punishment in the United States is on life support, hanging on in the 2 percent of counties that administer more than half of all executions.
While one Catholic archbishop was urging a fix to the country's immigration laws before a Catholic crowd, another was pleading with the government not to separate mothers from their children while in immigration detention, and yet another, a cardinal, was accompanying a grandfather to an appointment that could have resulted in his deportation.
Catholic Church leaders in the U.S. spent the week of March 6-10 trying to allay fears, urging compassion, not just from the government from those who are not seeing "God's creation" when they malign unauthorized immigrants.
Calling health care "a vital concern for nearly every person in the country," the U.S. Catholic bishops said March 8 they will be reviewing closely a measure introduced in the House March 6 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The Supreme Court took on a U.S-Mexico border issue Feb. 21 when it examined if the parents of a Mexican teenager can sue the U.S. border agent who shot and killed their son.
During the oral arguments, the justices seemed divided over who was responsible for the action. Some of the justices stressed that it was a U.S. concern since the teen was shot by a U.S. agent; other justices said that since the 15-year-old died on the Mexican side of the border, the case should stay out of the U.S. courts.
In a 6-2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that Texas inmate Duane Buck had been unfairly represented.
In a joint statement, Catholic bishops whose dioceses are along the U.S.-Mexico border spoke of the "pain, the fear, and the anguish" they're seeing in immigrants and vowed to follow the example of the pope in building "bridges, rather than the walls of exclusion and exploitation."
The Feb. 14 statement was read at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle in Texas after a visit by the bishops to an immigration detention center as well as to a humanitarian respite center at Sacred Heart Parish in McAllen, Texas, in the Brownsville Diocese.