October 2017

Workers and the Unemployed: That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.

Work brings a basic dignity to our human participation in God’s creation. Although we can cooperate in God’s work through our labor, and we can exercise creativity in the arts, speech, and thought, we cannot truly create out of nothing. Only God creates in this fashion, ex nihilo, and it was in this way that He created the world.

Pope Francis has since the beginning of his Pontificate put great emphasis on our Christian duty to respect workers and the kinds of work they do. In a 2013 audience from Labor Day, he exhorted the People of God, calling for an end to slave labor and human trafficking, encouraging us to look for creative ways to help our brothers and sisters find fulfilling work.

The Holy Father connected this to one of the pillars of Catholic social teaching, the intrinsic dignity of every human person: “I wish to extend an invitation to everyone to greater solidarity and to encourage those in public office to spare no effort to give new impetus to employment. This means caring for the dignity of the person.” As we pray with the Holy Father for workers this month, it is good for us to consider how we are building up those for whom we work, those with whom we work, and those who work for us. We must be especially attentive to our shopping habits and the way in which we use the Internet. The products of sweatshops and human trafficking are widespread, and it takes careful diligence and a deep life of prayer to avoid the temptation to exploit workers directly or indirectly. Lord bless the work of our hands, Lord bless the work of our hands.

Reflection and Discussion
How can I assist in providing opportunities for fair work and fair wages in my family, social, and professional life? What are my obligations to the underemployed or unemployed? What am I doing to engage the issue of underemployment on a personal, local or regional level?

Acts 20:35 “In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort we must help the weak, and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

September 2017

Pope's Prayer Intention

Parishes: That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.

In his Message for the 2017 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis wrote: “All Christians are called to be missionaries of the Gospel! As disciples, we do not receive the gift of God’s love for our personal consolation, nor are we called to promote ourselves, or a business concern. We are simply men and women touched and transformed by the joy of God’s love, who cannot keep this experience just to ourselves.”

We experience God’s love in prayer and community, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist. There, our intimate encounter with Jesus leads us to share the concerns and desires of his Heart which move us beyond focusing just on ourselves or our own parish community.
In 2001 Pope St. John Paul II wrote: “our Christian communities must become genuine ‘schools’ of prayer. By opening our heart to the love of God it also opens it to the love of our brothers and sisters, and makes us capable of shaping history according to God’s plan.”

Strengthened in faith and charity at the Eucharist, we look outwards to the millions
who do not know Jesus. We reach out to them with our prayer and acts of charity. At the same time, we form a parish community that will attract people to Christ and his Body, the Church.
In a General Audience last October, Pope Francis offered the example of St. Therese of Lisieux, one of the Apostleship of Prayer’s patrons: “she reminds us that the real mission is never proselytism, but rather attraction to Christ, beginning with strong union with him in prayer, adoration and concrete acts of charity, which is service to Jesus present in the least of our brothers and sisters.”

Reflection and Discussion

What is meant by “a missionary spirit”? In what ways is my community a place “where faith is communicated and charity is seen”?


Acts 2: 42-47 “All who believed were together and had all things in common. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”