On May 1, 2014, the memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker, the Diocese will prayerfully observe the connection between Joseph, who was a carpenter, and those who struggle to make a sufficient living.
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge encourages Catholics to ask for the Heavenly intercession of Saint Joseph the Worker for all those who are unemployed and underemployed and often feel alone, abandoned and guilty about their situations.
Even as North Carolina’s unemployment level falls below the national average, Catholic Charities executive director Gary Skinner points out that while more people are working, many aren’t working at their potential capacity.
“Please join Catholic Charities in holding these neighbors who are struggling with employment issues, and often, related food insecurity, in our prayers,” he said, adding that prayer and action are increasingly needed.
The following is a suggested prayer:
Saint Joseph, patron of workers, help us to respect the dignity of all workers. Help us to learn and to care about workers who do not have fair wages, just benefits or a safe working environment. Help us to raise our voices for those unjustly treated. Help us to work together to develop opportunities for work that reflects the dignity of the human person. You taught your Son the value of work and the joy of a job well done. Teach us these lessons. Guide us in our own work and renew our strength and commitment each day as we face our work ahead and labor in accord with the common good of all.
“Our prayers are a sign of our own concern and a hope for God’s providence in a most challenging situation,” Jackie Bonk, director of the Office of Human Life and Dignity, wrote.
Saint Joseph is honored on two feast days -- on March 19 as a husband and on May 1 as a worker.