May 2, 2021

Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, our parish feast day. This past year has been a challenging year for workers and we pray that St. Joseph will continue to watch over all workers, especially those involved in essential businesses.

I think of those men and women who have served us so faithfully over this past year in health care. We give thanks for doctors and nurses who put themselves at risk day in and day out to care for us and heal us. We give thanks for grocery store workers who worked through the most dangerous time of the pandemic and continue to provide us with the essentials that we need for life. We give thanks for farmworkers and those who labor to bring food to our table at great risk to their own health. May St. Joseph the Worker continue to watch over them and protect them.

We are also mindful of workers who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. We know that there is intrinsic value in work. To work is to collaborate with God in the work of creation, and unemployment “almost always wounds its victim’s dignity and threatens the equilibrium of his life” (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2427 & #2436). For those whose dignity has been wounded during this time by the loss of their job, may St. Joseph the Worker strengthen them with the faith that sustained him throughout his life.

As we move later into the Spring, we are aware of, and give thanks for, the incredible job teachers have done throughout these past fourteen months. Teaching is a labor of love for those who work in this most noble profession. Teachers have been stretched this past year in ways they could not have imagined. We give thanks for all those dedicated men and women who have put in long hours learning how to teach online, and then in a hybrid model with some students in the classroom and some online. For all of these men and women in the teaching profession we ask St. Joseph the Worker to bring them continued strength and perseverance.

To the parents who have worked throughout this time while at the same time serving as their children’s coach, tutor, and main support for remote learning, we offer a special prayer of gratitude. These moms and dads have been called upon to juggle schedules of work, home, and school life. For enduring the stress and pressure of balancing these multiple roles, we ask St. Joseph the Worker to bring consolation and peace to parents and children alike.

The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World of the Second Vatican Council notes the special dignity that work brings to family and society: “Where men and women, in the course of gaining a livelihood for themselves and their families, offer appropriate service to society, they can be confident that their personal efforts promote the work of the Creator, confer benefit on their fellowmen, and help to realize God’s plan in history” (#34).

May our patron, Saint Joseph the Worker, continue to strengthen and guide our parish family, and all those who labor. May he guard and protect all workers, especially those who struggle to make ends meet.

God Bless,

Fr. Gary Lazzeroni