In radio, we do a lot of show prep, researching relevant materials on the topics and guests we’ll be covering on a particular program, and sometimes that requires a sweeping review of wide-ranging resources to pluck the gems and see the greater picture.

That thought occurred to me when I saw Rocco Palmo’s post about the USCCB President’s state of the union, in advance of the US president’s address. I could have linked directly to it on the USCCB site. But it benefits from this buildup.

It might be another week until President Obama ascends the rostrum of the House chamber to deliver his “State of the Union” address, but in a letter dated Thursday, the new president of the US bishops, Archbishop Tim Dolan of New York, continued his predecessor’s tradition of outlining in depth the bench’s policy priorities and areas of concern to the members of the 112th Congress.

Lest anyone needed reminding, the US’ roughly 68 million Catholics comprise, by far, the nation’s largest religious body.

And that is followed by the the full text of Dolan’s letter. Which is also here. Must reading for a faithfully engaged electorate.

But as Rocco notes

(At the same time, with the House taking up its new Republican majority’s long-pledged debate and vote on the repeal of the health-care reform package passed and signed into law last year, the following letter, dated today, was sent to its 435 members from the conference’s three key chairs on the health-care debate: the Pro-Life chair Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston; the Migration chair, Los Angeles Coadjutor-Archbishop José Gomez, and the Domestic Policy chair, Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton)

Members of Congress acknowledge the role of the bishops of pointing out “certain fundamental moral parameters” in creating law and social policy. Altogether, this is richly resourceful for President Obama as he prepares for the SOTU. I know how much I appreciate strong show prep before addressing important matters.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....