The South Dakota Catholic Conference has been established as one vehicle by which we bishops are able to engage in the public square by raising up core moral issues. God-given truths including life and justice can be obscured by political expediency and the growing demand of many in the culture to restrict religious freedom. We are hopeful that the South Dakota Catholic Conference might serve as a means to form and equip the laity to become missionary disciples of Christ bringing the light of Christ into every corner of human affairs, including politics, always with charity and respect. The Church is not a special interest group or an advocate for any political party or candidate. The teachings of Christ through his Church do not fit into current political labels or ideologies. Yet she must not hesitate to raise up the principles that are grounded in a vision for a society ordered to the common good. The Catholic Conference is a means through which we, in the fulfillment of our duties as pastors, and relying on the Church’s understanding of the compatible commitment to reason and the natural law, God’s law, can raise up moral principles which can result in government policies that respect the dignity of all and allow us to look to the future with hope for those yet to come.