Every year around this time, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issues a letter reflecting on labor and work, looking at current challenges through the eye of faith. This year, Archbishop Wenski of Miami, who chairs the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, reflects on the global economic forces burdening the worker and the family in 2016, and calls for renewed solidarity. “Simply put, we must advocate for jobs and wages that truly provide a dignified life for individuals and their families, and for working conditions that are safe and allow for a full flourishing of life outside of the workplace.”
Not long ago America was a place where anyone who graduated from high school and was prepared to work hard could expect to earn a salary sufficient to support a family. There are a lot of reasons that this has changed, but one of them is the decline of unions – a shift that has reduced the bargaining power of the worker vs the other economic actors in society. The economists tell us that today’s free market economy, unencumbered by unions, is more efficient. Be it so: is efficiency the only criteria by which we judge an economy? Or is it worth paying a few dollars more for your smartphone, car or movie ticket if it enables one-third of our nation’s men and women a vocation and life with dignity? (Catholic Labor Network)
“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”
Marilyn Monroe was probably not thinking of athletic shoes when she made this statement, but it does apply to our “African Soles for African Souls” project.
The spring edition of Legacy (UNICEF’S newsletter)features a story titled “Girl’s Education is the Key to Gender Equality”, and highlights their success through sports programs helping to delay early marriage, keep girls in school and boost their academic success. Although the shoes that will be purchased for the African Soul, American Heart school for orphaned girls will not be used exclusively for athletics, they will help these girls be healthy and active.
We are so grateful for the $650.10 donation that came from our parishioners and the extra match money that will double that donation.
Perhaps the words of Seo Min Hyun are a better fit – “Good shoes take you good places.”
Thanks to all whose generous “American Hearts” helped make this such a successful effort.
Because of civil war in South Sudan, “African Souls, American Hearts” has re-established its school for orphaned girls in Uganda. The girls are thriving, but could greatly benefit from having athletic shoes, as they try to be physically active barefoot or in flip flops!
Our Social Justice group and Care and Share Ministries are challenging our parishioners to a match of up to $500 for shoes. Please write your checks to Nativity, write “African Soles” in the memo line, and then place in the Collection Plate or drop off in the office.
Educating girls is a proven way to reduce child marriages, early pregnancies and poverty.
Contact Cathy for more information.