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(August 30-31) I think it is helpful each year on Labor Day weekend to look at the statement on labor that the United States Bishops put out annually. Here are some of the thoughts from the statement:
“This year Pope Francis canonized Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II. Both made immense contributions to the social teaching of the Church on the dignity of labor and its importance to human flourishing. St. John Paul II called work ‘probably the essential key to the whole social question’ and St. John XXIII stressed workers are "entitled to a wage that is determined in accordance with the precepts of justice’. Pope Francis added to this tradition that work ‘is fundamental to the dignity of a person.... it 'anoints' us with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God... gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one's family, and to contribute to the growth of one's own nation.’ Work helps us realize our humanity and is necessary for human flourishing. Work is not a punishment for sin but rather a means by which we make a gift of ourselves to each other and our communities. We simply cannot advance the common good without decent work and a strong commitment to solidarity.
Labor Day gives us the chance to see how work in America matches up to the lofty ideals of our Catholic tradition. This year, some Americans who have found stability and security are breathing a sigh of relief. Sporadic economic growth, a falling unemployment rate, and more consistent job creation suggest that the country may finally be healing economically after years of suffering and pain. For those men and women, and their children, this is good news.
Digging a little deeper, however, reveals enduring hardship for millions of workers and their families. The poverty rate remains high, as 46 million Americans struggle to make ends meet. The economy continues to fail in producing enough decent jobs for everyone who is able to work, despite the increasing numbers of retiring baby boomers. There are twice as many unemployed job seekers as there are available jobs, and that does not include the seven million part time workers who want to work full-time. Millions more, especially the long-term unemployed, are discouraged and dejected. read more...
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We recognize one another as gifts of God, inviting and inspiring all to become disciples of Jesus.
We joyfully celebrate Christ among us through full, active and vibrant worship.
We go forth to love and serve, sharing our God-given gifts with each other and throughout the world.
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