James Herzog, FCCB associate director for education, attended a meeting of the Federal Assistance Advisory Commission (FAAC) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. The Commission meets twice per year to discuss federal educational programs as well as parental empowerment in education. FAAC members met with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on the importance of restoring Title II, Part A funds to meet the professional development needs of public and nonpublic school teachers, among other key issues. Meetings were also held with various members of Congress to discuss support for the "Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act" along with Title II-A services.
On March 26-27, 2019, nearly 400 Catholics from across the state convened in Tallahassee to participate in Catholic Days at the Capitol. With a record crowd in attendance, including over 70 high school students, participants from as near as the local Tallahassee community to as far south as Cutler Bay in Miami-Dade County put their faith into action in Florida's capital city.
On the evening of March 27, Catholic Days at the Capitol came to its official conclusion with the 44th Annual Red Mass of the Holy Spirit. All nine bishops of Florida were present to concelebrate the Mass at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Tallahassee. The Red Mass provides an annual opportunity for bishops and the lay faithful to gather in prayer with elected and appointed officials as one body in Christ. Congregants invoke the Holy Spirit, praying that those who serve in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government will be divinely inspired and guided as they carry out their work for the people of Florida.
While in town for Catholic Days at the Capitol, the bishops of Florida were able to visit with Senate President Bill Galvano. The bishops engaged with the president on a range of issues, including abortion, the death penalty, parental choice in education, criminal justice, immigration reform, and access to health care.