“Work is God’s gift to us,” teaches Monsignor Ray East of the Archdiocese of Washington, at the start of The Dignity and Rights of Workers, the seventh and last installment of CST 101, a series of videos from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). “We’re able to use the different gifts that God has given us: physical gifts, spiritual gifts, mental gifts, to make the world a better place.”
“Because the Church recognizes that every person is made in the image and likeness of God,” adds CRS Vice President Joan Rosenhauer, “we also recognize that work exists for people. People don’t exist for work”
Joan and Monsignor Ray and are joined by Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, in teaching us how foundational a part of Catholic teaching the dignity and rights of workers are, how the story of man’s relationship to work goes all the way back to Creation, how God placed us among His great creation, and invited us to take part in it.
CST 101 is a collaborative 7-part video series presented by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services on Catholic social teaching.
“All Catholics need to be aware that this is part of the way we live our life of discipleship: by promoting human dignity; by defending the worker’s rights; by making our society more attentive to the needs of those who are most vulnerable.” — Cardinal Seán O’Malley
The videos bring the themes of Catholic social teaching (the Church’s collective wisdom and teaching on the values and Christian vision of a just society) to life and inspire us to put our faith into action.
Some suggested uses include adult faith formation, incorporating into high school theology classes, sharing with parents of religious education students, integrating into lay ministry formation and using them to prepare groups for service trips. Or simply for our own reflection, to better understand how we and our families exist in society along with our fellow creatures among God’s creation, living and moving and bearing God’s word.
We also invite you to use the following resources in your faith communities in conjunction with the video to help bring the fundamental Catholic principle of The Dignity and Rights of Workers alive in your faith family and beyond.
A discussion guide to help a small group learn about and reflect on the Catholic social teaching principle Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers. This guide was developed in collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as a part of the CST 101 series.
Lesson plans for grades 1-8 about the Catholic social teaching principle the Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers. The lesson plans help explain the principle through the story of a microfinance group in Zambia.
Featured in the series of videos is the wonderful artwork of Bro. Mickey O’Neill McGrath, OSFS, along with contributions from some of the most respected figures in contemporary Catholic thought:
As with The Dignity and Rights of Workers, each video is accompanied by a discussion guide, to be found at the CST 101 site. We hope you enjoy, share, and discuss this installment, along with the whole series, and hope that it will deepen your faith and that of your community.Other installments in the CST 101 series include
- Life and Dignity of the Human Person;
- Call to Family, Community, and Participation;
- Care for God’s Creation;
- Option for the Poor and Vulnerable;
- Rights and Responsibilities; and
Please share with your communities, and watch this space for each installment to follow.
About the author: Edward O’N. Hoyt is a web producer for Catholic Relief Services, based out of Baltimore, MD. He works with them on resource development and Church engagement.