I ran across a very interesting video the other day. It is a message by Bishop Richard Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tenn. He addresses the youth of the diocese and offers tips for what to do during their summer vacation.
Archive | June, 2009
June 26, 2009
June 22, 2009
Father’s Day was different this year, but enjoyable nonetheless. For the first time, my Dad, Ray, had to be admitted to a health care facility due to some complications and weakness. He is under observation and the medical staff is trying to help him regain strength so he can return home.
June 22, 2009
- When it comes to things that make you really happy, what five things would you rank at the very top?
- Suppose you were told that you could have one wish come true — but the wish you make would have to be for someone else, not for yourself. What would you wish for, and for whom would you wish it?
- If you could have 100 of anything right now, what would you choose?
“Food for Family Thought” — the parenting/faith formation aids — comes on the flip side of each card. For the three examples above, the alternate side of the cards suggest:
- When asked what it would take to get to heaven, Jesus said, “Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, and clothe the naked.” That’s what parents do each day. It’s a paradox that our greatest happiness comes when we freely give of ourselves. Think about that the next time you’re fixing supper or folding laundry.
- Empathy is a fundamental building block for all moral growth. Make it a family value to frequently consider how your behavior and choices affect others. When your child talks about other children’s experiences, gently ask, “And how do you think he/she felt about that?” This will nurture your child’s capacity for compassion.
- One task of parents is to help their children develop the skills of discernment — that is, to make wise choices. This is better taught through example and be establishing limits than by coercion and criticism.
The opposite of ‘bowling alone’
“The Meal Box” questions are such a painless way for parents to connect with their children, to enrich family-time, and to counteract the tendency for family members to do their own thing and go off into their own little worlds.
The younger ones may even forget about whose turn it is to play Wii. Teens may pull the iPod earphones out for a few minutes to chime in with their thoughts.
And, if you’re empty nesters like my wife and I, you may find “The Meal Box” questions adding an engaging new feature into your day. Think about talking over dinner about “What is one seemingly impossible goal that you would like to see the world achieve during your lifetime?”
You may even skip watching “Wheel of Fortune” some nights to ponder questions like that! – bz
June 19, 2009
Every once in a while, a fishing or hunting trip goes as well as I had hoped it would. This week was one of those times.
June 19, 2009
June 15, 2009
ght’ did bind them together to a degree Bussard’s crusade for liturgical renewal — its insistence on the unity and participation of the whole worship community — possessed an unmistakable collective component, which Ryan’s tireless drive for social and racial justice derived directly from his conviction that Jesus had called for a communal solution to the problems of the ages.”
June 15, 2009
The first Bishop’s Cup and Family Fishing Tournament is in the books and it was a success in several ways.
June 11, 2009
I recently read that this week is national Boating and Fishing Week. With warmer weather finally arriving to make it feel like June, now’s the time to head to your favorite fishing spot.
June 10, 2009
- No two people think exactly alike.
- You cannot read your partner’s mind.
- Your partner cannot read your mind.
- We are human and make mistakes.
- It takes courage to forgive.
- No one is perfect.
- Love conquers fear.
June 9, 2009
“Catholic Administrators and Labor Unions,”
by William Droel and Ed Marciniak
Labor unions should be seen as making employees partners with management in carrying out the mission of Catholic institutions and ministries.
That’s the teaching of a little, 49-page, pocket- or purse-size booklet produced this year by the Chicago-based National Center for the Laity.
It’s a tract, really, that takes its foundation from an essay the late Ed Marciniak wrote in 1983.
Marciniak was a towering figure in the labor movement and Catholic lay movement in Chicago for more than 40 years, and Bill Droel – Marciniak’s colleague at the National Center for the Laity – has updated his work, adding recent references, particularly thoughts of Pope John Paul II.
Filled with facts
Catholic teachings with regard to labor begin with the dignity of every person and see collective bargaining as upholding and even furthering that dignity. This booklet makes the point over and over that union activity should be regarded as a necessary societal experience, not one to be feared or deplored.
Rather than management seeing labor organizing as a sign of failure on its part, the fact that employees want a union can be accepted as a development in the skills and the commitment of employees.
Church-related institutions are advised to model good labor relations by participating in good-faith bargaining; as the authors put it, “Preaching the gospel necessitates living the gospel.”
Workers cannot be exploited just because they choose to work for the church or a Catholic entity, a point the booklet makes clear:
“There is simply no basis in Catholic teaching for workers or employers to conclude that collective bargaining is excluded from the church, no matter how dedicated and holy are those workers or employers.”
Where unionizing and contract bargaining is sometimes perceived as an adversarial relationship, the authors say union activity can hold Catholic employers to high standards for transparency and thoughtfulness. In contentious issues, a contract allows policy – not personalities – to prevail.
What happens as well is creation of a partnership style of management – labor together with management – where a “respectful connectedness” is allowed to blossom. When union members and management partner, a mutual responsibility for the mission is created.
The booklet reminds:
“A union, in Catholic doctrine, is more than an economic agent to negotiate wages. It is supposed to be a community of persons who . . . claim responsibility, grow in the exercise of freedom and contribute to a spirituality of work.”
And it works to the benefit of all.
“A fair amount of evidence links humane management with profitability,” the booklet notes, “or, in the case of non-profits, other measures of excellence.”
Where some might fear the forming of a union as something that will drive the company or institution out of business, good managers instinctively understand that, especially in rough times, a company needs as many interested participants as possible, particularly from its employees. It is a mistake as well to conclude that managers are more invested in the institution than the employees, the authors warn.
Catholic doctrine demands that persons conform to the will of God by nurturing others. We sustain and spread faith in God through participation in family life and social groups, and doing so is not an option. “Catholics are obliged to join intermediate groups because they are essential to a relational (Trinitarian) expression of Christianity,” Droel and Marciniak note.
Voluntary groups are prized by Catholicism as a best harbor for freedom and human development, the thinking that brought John Paul II to say, “Unions are indispensable in society.”
Here are just a few take-aways for Catholic managers from a text full of take-aways:
· A labor tactic may be legal but not morally justified.
· Taking advantage of loopholes in the law will generate a hostile work environment.
· Getting reputable and competent advice for negotiating with a union is recommended, but bringing a union-busting firm on board will tarnish – perhaps permanently – a Catholic entity’s Catholic identity in the minds of all fair-minded people.
· Managers need to see unions as a vehicle rather than an obstacle.
While the intended audience for this work is Catholic managers, I would think the teaching about labor and management applies to every workplace, Catholic or secular.
In a reference appropriate for 2009, the booklet notes that while Catholic doctrine does not say every workplace must have a union, it does say that employees must be allowed to decide if they want to have a union.
“A Catholic (an employee, an administrator or a stakeholder) with an informed conscience can say, ‘This union is not right for this workplace,’ The same person cannot say, ‘Unions are bad.’ That some Catholics say, ‘Unions are bad or outdated,’ carries the same moral credibility as a Catholic who says, ‘Abortion is a matter of opinion or of individual choice.’”– bz