9/19/12 | 341 views
Work Is Part of Ongoing Plan for Salvation, Cardinal Says at Labor Mass
At the annual Labor Mass for union members and labor officials, Cardinal Dolan told those gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral that “one of the ways we fulfill God’s plan for our redemption is through our work.”
The cardinal recalled that Blessed John Paul II, in discussing the value of honest work and labor, said that such work continues God’s creation in the world. Cardinal Dolan explained that no matter how mundane or gritty the work may be, it is all part of God’s plan.
“Our work, our labor becomes part of his ongoing salvation of the world,” the cardinal said.
The Mass was offered on Saturday morning, Sept. 8, which marked the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary’s birth, the cardinal noted, was essential to God’s plan for redemption and salvation, because it set the course for the birth of her son, Jesus.
The banners of unions represented at the Mass were assembled in a place of honor at the front of the altar. The annual Labor Day Parade on Fifth Avenue followed the morning liturgy, and Cardinal Dolan reviewed the parade from the cathedral’s steps.
“It’s always an honor for me to welcome you to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and to see the legitimate pride you have in labor,” the cardinal said.
Most union members proudly wore the shirts and uniforms of their respective unions. Dennis Deahn, wearing the green of District Council 37, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, told CNY he has attended the Labor Mass since Cardinal O’Connor’s tenure as Archbishop of New York. He said he comes to renew acquaintances with fellow unionists he doesn’t often see throughout the year.
“We are all working men and women,” he said. “We built this town, and we want to preserve what we’ve got.”
He said that he and his fellow union members “not only appreciate the cardinal’s humbleness, we also appreciate his humor.” That humor was clearly evident at the Mass, with Cardinal Dolan jokingly saying he gets “time and a half” for celebrating Mass on days other than Sunday. The remark drew hearty laughter from those gathered in the cathedral.
Annette Diaz, of Local Union 3, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said the proximity of the Mass to 9/11 led her and other union members to reflect on those who were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center and on U.S. troops serving across the globe. She recalled that 17 members of Local 3 died on September 11.
She also referred to the unifying aspect of the Mass and parade, saying, “We celebrate with all the unions so we can unite. It’s one movement we celebrate with everyone for better jobs and equal opportunity.”
She proudly smiled as she spoke of the many unions represented. “The support of the members is something to see,” she said.
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