THE VALUE OF WORK; THE DIGNITY OF THE HUMAN PERSON
Most Reverend William F. Murphy
Bishop of Rockville Centre
Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Over the years we Americans have redefined the summer by making Labor Day the
“extra day of vacation” that recognizes the work we do throughout the year. There is nothing
wrong with that. In fact looking at the history of the struggle for wages and benefits, I think that an extra “day off” for all Americans fits in with the spirit of the whole American experience of the meaning of work. It is a moment to recognize the value and dignity of work and the
contribution and rights of the American worker. It is time well spent.
Labor Day this year comes at a time when we face a number of challenging problems,
many of which cause us to reflect and ponder on what the future will bring. As complex and
challenging as the current economic situation is and the new elements that challenge us all,
Americans are still fundamentally an optimistic people. We have an abiding faith in the values
that have shaped our nation and an ongoing commitment to work together to address the
problems and build on the strengths of who we are. This attitude mirrors the deep and powerful
virtue of hope that our Church and, in a special way, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, have
emphasized as a mark of all the faithful disciples of Jesus. We are called always “to give an
accounting of the hope that is in us.”(cf. 1 Pt 3:15) This is especially true in difficult times that
can try our spirits and test our wills.
To read more, click here.