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aworkersYesterday when I wrote about attitudes toward work I wasn’t thinking that it would be a segue to a reflection on St. Joseph the Worker. We celebrate the feast of St. Joseph as husband of Mary and human father of Jesus on March 19th but in 1955 another feast honoring Joseph, tekton (woodworker or carpenter), was proclaimed on this date by Pope Pius XII to inspire devotion among Catholics and as response to the Communist “May Day” celebration for workers.

In our day, the social justice teaching of the Church emphasizes the dignity of labor in any environment and calls for recognition of workers who provide necessary services to the community by assuring just wages and working conditions for all. Today, then, let us pray in thanksgiving for all workers: those who stand on assembly lines in factories and those in shops who repair all manner of tools and clocks and cars. Let us be grateful for bakers and bank tellers and those who bring food to our tables. (Add your own list here.) Let us always be grateful and rejoice in those who teach us the blessings of honest labor.