Diocese readies postcard campaign
Photo Caption: Jeanne Smith of St. Thomas Parish in Peoria Heights and her son Luke help pack “Fight FOCA” postcards at the Family Resources Center in Peoria.
By: By Jared Olar
The Diocese of Peoria is preparing to take part in a nationwide postcard campaign sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to mobilize citizens to defend the nation’s current pro-life laws and policies.
Father Bill Miller, IC, chairman of the Diocesan Respect Life Board, sent a memo on Jan. 8 informing all pastors in the diocese of the campaign.
Millions of postcards expressing opposition to the Freedom of Choice Act are being distributed to parishes nationwide this month. Beginning on the weekend of Jan. 24-25, Catholics will be asked to sign them for mailing to their U.S. senators and representatives, with a request that they “Please oppose FOCA or any similar measure, and retain laws against federal funding and promotion of abortion.”
“FOCA would go well beyond the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision in imposing an extreme abortion right on our country,” Father Miller wrote in his memo. “It will eliminate a broad range of laws . . . It creates a ‘fundamental right’ to abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy.”
Since the postcards arrived on Jan. 9, volunteers at the Family Resources Center in Peoria have been packaging them for shipment to parishes throughout the diocese. Included are campaign instruction booklets.
“Father Miller . . . wanted us to go ahead with this postcard campaign like we did in 1993,” said Jan Smith, director of the Family Resources Center.
At that time, Smith said, an earlier version of FOCA was steadily moving forward in Congress until millions of postcards signed by Catholic parishioners began to arrive on Capitol Hill. That convinced members of Congress not to support the controversial bill.
“We’re hoping for the same result this time,” she said.
The Family Resources Center has also received calls from pastors asking for additional packages of cards, according to Smith. Also, she said, news of the campaign has been enthusiastically received by some area Protestant churches.
For additional postcards or further information, contact the Family Resources Center at (309) 637-1713.