Frequently Asked Questions

What plans are in place regarding COVID-19?

A:

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to affect our state, we will be hosting Catholics at the Capitol as a hybrid model. Participants will have the option to join in-person or online. Both methods will offer you quality programming, invigorating talks, and the opportunity to make a difference in your community that you have come to expect.

In-Person: Participants have the opportunity to attend in-person as they have in the past. Rallying together as a community of Minnesota Catholics eager to make a difference in
our state is indispensable. Current COVID-19 safety precautions including masking and social distancing will be followed.

Virtual: For those who prefer to join us remotely, sign up to be a virtual participant! You can join Catholics at the Capitol from the comfort of your home! We are committed to delivering both the in-person and online formats with excellence so that no one misses out on the quality programming and information throughout the day. 

Virtual Legislative Visits: Since the MN State Capitol is closed to the public, all legislative visits will take place online via a virtual platform on Friday, April 16 between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM (the afternoon following Catholics at the Capitol). A virtual meeting link will be sent to participants ahead of time by their District Leader. Participants will also receive materials regarding MCC's legislative priorities.

Learn more here.

What is the cost?

A:

In-Person Regular Pricing: $20 + taxes and fees

  • Open through April 8, 2021 at 4:00pm
  • Lunch is not included in ticket price, see here for details. 

Virtual Pricing: A suggested $10 donation

  • Open through April 8, 2021 at 4:00pm

Students and children under the age of 22 come free! 

 

*If you are interested in bringing a school or youth group, please contact Maggee Becker at: [email protected]

What does my ticket include?

A:

Included with your in-person ticket:

  • Continental breakfast
  • A full morning of dynamic speakers, discussion, networking, and prayer at the Cathedral of St. Paul

  • A chance to connect with excellent Catholic organization and exhibitors

  • Training and education about how to talk with your legislator and how you can make a difference in your district and your state

  • Meetings with your legislators to discuss issues that are important to you (happening virtually on Friday, April 16)

  • Opportunities to pray together, including the celebration of Holy Mass at the Cathedral and Benediction at the MN State Capitol

  • A whole day of meeting and building relationships with other Catholics from across Minnesota who share your desire to make a difference

Included with your virtual ticket:

  • A full morning of dynamic speakers, discussion, and prayer

  • Dedicated 'virtual emcees' who will bring you exclusive interviews, sponsor highlights, and more!

  • Training and education about how to talk with your legislator and how you can make a difference in your district and your state

  • Meetings with your legislators to discuss issues that are important to you (happening virtually on Friday, April 16)

  • Opportunities to pray together, including the celebration of Holy Mass at the Cathedral and Benediction at the MN State Capitol

What about food?

A:

A light continental breakfast will be served and the cost is included in your registration. 

We have two options for lunch:

  • Pre-purchase a boxed lunch from Green Mill for $11.17 + taxes and fees. These meals will be available for pick-up onsite (if you want this option, please order it at checkout).
    • Turkey sandwich, chips, cookie, water
    • Ham sandwich, chips, cookie, water
    • Salad, two types of dressing, cookie, water
  • If you do not want to spend extra money on lunch, you are welcome to bring your own. 

Who should attend Catholics at the Capitol?

A:

Any Minnesota Catholic who wants to learn how to become more active in politics and make positive change as an advocate for human life and dignity. You don’t need to be a policy wonk, an insider, or a dynamo public speaker to make a difference. Your presence will speak volumes to your elected officials! In state and local politics, the most important thing is to show up.

How can I make it to St. Paul for this event?

A:

Out-state dioceses will sponsor their own transportation to St. Paul on April 15. If you are from an out-state diocese, you should choose that option on your registration form. A diocesan liaison will contact you with details about transportation as the event approaches.

Those near the Twin Cities metro area can take advantage of one of our park-and-ride locations if they so choose. We also recommend carpooling with other attendees from your parish.

For more details, visit our transportation page.

What about parking?

A:

If you plan to drive to St. Paul and park, please indicate this on your registration form. Parking options include the Cathedral of St. Paul parking lot and nearby street parking. Because secure parking is limited, we encourage you to take advantage of one of four free park-and-ride locations. You can also choose to find your own parking in St. Paul. For more details, visit our transportation page.

Is there transportation between the Cathedral and the Capitol?

A:

Yes, but it is limited. There will be a Eucharistic procession from the Cathedral to the Capitol, and we encourage everyone to participate in this if you are able. It is a roughly one-mile walk, and should take about 25 minutes. However, if you are not able to participate, we will offer a shuttle service between the two locations. 

Will we have opportunities to pray together as Catholics?

A:

Yes! Prayer is what strengthens us, and serving Christ is the reason we’re going to the Capitol in the first place. We will offer Mass before the morning programming starts. Towards the end of our day, we will transition to the MN State Capitol, where we will offer prayers for our state, elected leaders, and have Benediction. 

Check the schedule for more details!

Is attendance limited?

A:

Yes. Because all six dioceses in Minnesota are involved in promoting this event, we expect to have Catholics from across the state, and we anticipate that tickets will sell quickly. Furthermore, because we need to accommodate people from all 67 Minnesota senate districts to ensure appropriate representation, space in each district is limited.

Register today!

What if I need to cancel my registration?

A:

No refunds will be offered for Catholics at the Capitol 2021 tickets. If, for some reason, you are unable to attend Catholics at the Capitol, you can view your payment as a donation to the Church so we can continue offering transformative events for Catholics across Minnesota.

Cancellation due to inclement weather will not be refunded. Catholics at the Capitol will go on despite inclement weather. 

If you ordered a pre-paid lunch from Green Mill, and you cancel before March 24, 2021, you may receive a refund for the cost of your lunch. 

Describe the program of visits to legislators.

A:

After learning about the policy issues and effective advocacy, as well as hearing from dynamic Catholic leaders, attendees will be equipped to meet with their legislators. Since the MN State Capitol is currently closed to the public, all legislative visits will take place virtually on Friday, April 16 (1:00-3:00 PM). Visits (12-20 minutes) will be scheduled by your District Leader, and a virtual meeting link and the times will be sent to you in advance via email. 

I have never talked to legislators before. Does talking to them really make a difference?

A:

Absolutely! Your legislators are elected to serve you, their constituents. It’s their job to find out what your concerns are, and do their best to represent you at the Capitol. You are their most valuable resource because you help them identify the specific challenges that they should be working to address.

Whether or not you’ve spoken to your legislators before, they will be happy to meet you and listen to your concerns. Meeting your lawmakers in person at Catholics at the Capitol is a great way to start building a relationship; then, next time you get in touch (for instance, in the middle of the legislative session with a critical vote on a key issue coming up), you won’t be an anonymous voice on the phone—they’ve already met you!

What’s more, Catholics at the Capitol will offer programming on Thursday, April 15 that will inform you about key policy issues and equip you to influence lawmakers when you meet with them virtually on Friday, April 16. Unless you are a District Leader or feel passionate to speak about one of our advocacy issues, you need not speak during meetings. Your presence alone speaks volumes. Be not afraid!

How effective is it to speak directly with legislators?

A:

Phone calls and emails to legislators can be effective, but there is nothing more impactful than a personal visit. Why? Because by making time to join the virtual meeting, you convey to your legislators that you care about the decisions they make on your behalf. This matters to legislators, because you’re the one who puts them in office. Your investment in them and your concern about the issues conveys that you will also vote against them if they don’t make those issues a priority.

Catholics have diverse views on political matters. How can we possibly expect to speak with one voice?

A:

Catholics can have legitimate disagreements about the correct policy to address a particular problem. But we can all be united by our shared commitment to the foundational principles of Catholic Social Teaching: principles such as the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, the sanctity of human life, the inviolable dignity of the human person, and the responsibility of parents to be the primary educators of their children, to name but a few. Agreeing on policy specifics is less important than sharing a consistent ethic of life and conveying that to our elected officials.

I don’t necessarily agree with the bishops’ policy positions on certain issues. Can I still attend?

A:

Of course! The policy positions of the Minnesota Catholic Conference are prudential applications of Catholic Social Teaching. In offering their perspective, the bishops of Minnesota seek to fulfill their responsibilities as teachers and shepherds caring for both Catholics and all Minnesotans.

In the case of public policy, the bishops propose rather than impose. They hope that Catholics and all people of good will consider their perspective in important policy debates and join their voice in advocacy, but Catholic Social Teaching is meant to be an intellectual framework for all Catholics, to help us discern the will of God in each circumstance. Every Catholic is responsible for prayerfully considering, guided by the Scriptures and the wisdom of the Church, their own position on important policy issues.

You may be struggling with certain positions that MCC proposes, or in some instances, even strongly disagree. Even if there are points of prudential disagreement, we hope that Catholics at the Capitol is still an opportunity for study, reflection, fellowship, and working for the good on issues in which there is agreement.

Will ASL interpreting services be available?

A:

Yes, if requested in advance. We are able to provide ASL interpretation of the speeches, videos, and other conversations that take place during the morning program. To request this service, please contact Maggee Becker at [email protected].

Is Catholics at the Capitol a handicap accessible event?

A:

Yes. Both the Cathedral and the Capitol are handicap accessible. If you plan to take the shuttle from the Cathedral to the Capitol in the afternoon, please contact Maggee Becker at [email protected] as soon as possible. Please also advise us of any special assistance or wheelchair accommodations that will be needed during the event.

Photo and Media Disclaimer

A:

**The Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC) reserves the right to use any photograph or video taken at Catholics at the Capitol without the expressed written permission of the subjects.  MCC may use the photographs/video for printed and digital marketing and advertising purposes, and in any and all media, including the MCC website, newsletter and social media.

To ensure the privacy of individuals and children, images will not be identified using names or personal identifying information without written approval from the subject, parent or legal guardian.

Any adult participant or the parent/legal guardian of a child participant of Catholics at the Capitol who does not wish to have their image recorded for distribution should make their wishes known, in writing, to the event organizer.  Please contact the Minnesota Catholic Conference at [email protected].