Witnessing to our faith through work Print
Thursday, Sep. 03, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

Work is part of everyone’s life, whether it’s paid or unpaid. Yet how often do we think about how we witness to our faith through our work?

As the editor of a Catholic newspaper, I have more opportunity than others to integrate my work with my faith. But it is still a challenge to keep a faith perspective in every aspect of my work.

For some insights on this topic, I recalled a statement made by the state’s bishops in 2001. It is called Making Wisconsin Work Well: A Labor Day Challenge by Wisconsin’s Roman Catholic Bishops (still available on the Wisconsin Catholic Conference website at and well worth another look).

Not just a weekend faith

Our Wisconsin bishops recalled the U.S. bishops’ statement Economic Justice for All, which noted that “our faith is not just a weekend obligation, a mystery to be celebrated around the altar on Sunday. It is a pervasive reality to be practiced every day in homes, offices, factories, schools, and businesses across our land. We witness our faith in how we live and work with each other.”

How do we do that? We can acknowledge and affirm the dignity of others by thanking those whose work helps us and doing things that make their jobs easier. The bishops suggested that everyone from the custodian to the CEO deserves an equal measure of respect.

Parish involvement

The state bishops also suggested that every Catholic parish can and should be a place where people can talk with each other about their work.

These conversations can foster a variety of responses such as tutoring, mentoring those who lack skills or access to work, or providing help for family members left alone when a person works. It might involve expanding childcare programs or initiating new ones or providing assistance with transportation and housing needs.

Parishes can also provide a vital ministry to migrant workers, immigrants, and other workers who are new to a community by making them feel welcome in their new home.

This Labor Day, let’s think about ways we can link our work with our faith.