Friday, January 21, 2011

Pray for the Unemployed

Prayer for those seeking work

O God who works wonders,
You created us in your image and likeness.
We imitate You by using our talents and strength.
Help us fill the world with Your beauty, truth and goodness.
Bless those seeking work.
Fill them with peace and security.
Do not let them grow weary as they strive to be like You,
     the God who works wonders.
Help us all work to make Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.
We ask this through Christ Jesus our Lord.

It dawned on me today that we at St. Benedicts need to pray much more often and much more diligently for the unemployed and underemployed. After all, St. Benedict, our Patron Saint, summed up the lives of his monks quite simply - ora et labora - pray and work.

The Church has amassed a wealth of deep thinking on the inherent, God-given dignity of human work.  I am thinking of Pope John Paul the Great's "On Human Work" just to name one example. Click here to read it -  Our Catholic social teachings on the Common Good and the Dignity of the Human Person naturally lead Catholics to think deeply about work. 

Even here at St. Benedict's, a parish that has been blessed by God in so many ways, I know firsthand of the suffering many of our families go through due to unemployment or underemployment.  It is often emotionally, economically, and socially devasting.  I can remember the terror that gripped me when I was briefly between jobs at a point in my life.  I want the unemployed and underemployed to know how much we are with them in their time of suffering. You are not forgotten.

Looking ahead - perhaps this is the time to begin thinking of practical things our parish can do to honor workers and to support the unemployed.  It would be great if some of our wise lay people got together and developed a small scale program in this regard.  Lay people are truly the geniuses in this area.  St. Benedict's has so many businessmen and businesswomen, attorneys, bankers, and financial sector workers, maybe the time is ripe for us to develop a program to focus on the dignity of human work.  Let's at a minimum start thinking in that direction a bit.  We do so much on the charitable side, maybe we can begin thinking in terms of practical job-creation/training measures too.

Let me know your ideas.

St. Benedict, pray for us!

The following information was provided to me by Ms. Kathy Heffern from the Diocese of Buffalo.  It seems like a good first step for parishioners and others seeking work. Please contact them directly.

Contact: Katy Shafer, (716) 276-1117

Parachute Group Taps Talent of Former Members,
Area Professionals to Facilitate Job Search

For nearly four years the Parachute Group, a networking group for the un- or under-employed, has been conducting networking meetings at the Harlem Road Community Center at 4255 Harlem Road in Snyder, New York to help people in transition find an efficient path to area resources and, hopefully, to their next position.

The group was formed as a resource to address the needs of both downsized individuals and those seeking a career change. Says co-founder, Katy Shafer,“We started this group as a resource for people in transition. The message everywhere was ‘You have to network to find a job,’ but someone looking for work doesn’t always know where – or how -- to begin. The group was started as a volunteerism effort to provide a crucial networking forum and is also an opportunity to share ideas, contacts and resources. For almost four years, our group has provided a forum for hundreds of people.

“When people come to a Parachute Group meeting, they are free to take what they need from the group, so we find almost always they are willing to come back after they have found a position and talk to the group about their personal job-hunting experience. It’s can be very uplifting and helpful for those who are looking for a new position to hear the positive messages of those who have ‘landed.’”
The group provides participants with information on a variety of topics, including area programs designed to help find a job, information on subsidized health insurance and many other topics intended to help with the job search or ease the transition. Guest presenters are from the talented pool of professionals throughout the greater Buffalo area.

The Parachute Group is independent of any corporation, non-profit organization, governmental program or other affiliation. The group’s purpose is to provide a forum for networking, information and discussion. Anyone in transition is invited to participate. It is free and open to the public.

Meetings are held every Wednesday from 10:00-11:30 a.m. in the Harlem Road Community Center, 4255 Harlem Road (Community Room #1), Amherst, New York. Contact (716) 276-1117 for more information.


Out of work job seeker? Are you or is someone you know an out of work job seeker? Facing the challenge of being unemployed and working through this tough economy is tough enough. You don’t have to go it alone. Contact your Office of Family Life Ministries for your FREE packet containing practical resources, prayers, scripture support and programs designed to support you on your journey. Call 716-847-2210 or email
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