Monthly Archives: September 2019

Labor Day 2019: The Dignity of Work

The Dignity of Work & The Rights of Workers.

Labor Day in the US provides an opportunity to reflect on what the Church teaches us about the dignity of work and rights of workers.  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, together with Catholic Relief Services, recently created THIS VIDEO (<<< click here) to communicate the Church’s teaching on work.

In the Catholic traditions, work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continued participation in God’s creative action.  As we mark Labor Day in the US, we are invited to reflect on low wages and inequality in our workplaces and how the persistence of low wages is a barrier to full participation in that creative action.

Pope Francis espoused these same principles in his first public writing, “The Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium), the historic Apostolic Exhortation he issued on November 24, 2013.  See especially this summary of his words on failure of traditional economic dogmas >>>  One Of The Most Powerful Critiques Of Modern Capitalism That You Will Ever Read

What can YOU do to support workplaces built upon justice and dignity?


Water for God’s Thirsty Children

Safe water is a fundamental human need and right everywhere in the world.  There is no life without water.  Many of us here in Michigan give little thought to water.  We take it for granted.  We live only miles away from the largest fresh water seas in the world — the Great Lakes — and our local governments usually provide safe and usable water for our everyday needs.

But even close to us, many of our neighbors lack access to safe water: in Flint, lead was allowed into the water by government mismanagement, in Detroit area, our neighbors struggle to keep water service in the face of high prices and overdue bills. 

Elsewhere around the planet people of all ages fall ill and die because of contaminated water.   The World Health Organization estimates that 1,000 children die every day due to illness causes by drinking contaminated water.

Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary in Nigeria are doing there small part to help.  Due to your generous support, the SHVM Formation House property in Gwagwalada is equipped with a deep water well that provides safe water for the sisters.  Local families living nearby have always been welcomed into the front yard to gather water from the SHVM well, thus insuring safe water for household use.  But they still needed to carry the water long distances back  to their homes in heavy buckets. 

To make it easier for their neighbors, the Sisters ran a pipe with faucet from their well directly through the nearby wall of the SHVM compound.  Now the local families have much easier access to share God’s liquid gift from the SHVM deep water well.  And they have much shorter trips to carry the heavy jugs of water back to their homes for their use drinking, cooking, and washing themselves and their children.

This photo taken from a passing car shows a neighbor man filling up water containers at the Sisters, Home Visitors of Mary water faucet.

Other organizations working to improve access to safe water include:  Water With Blessings and Children’s Safe Drinking Water