Friday, August 15, 2014

The Government Supports Catholics

Well, actually, as Fr Ed explained at mass today, the government supports all religions.  He cited a federal law which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to their employees for the requirements of religious holy days.   In the Catholic Church, religious holy days are considered Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation (like today’s Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), which are treated as Sundays.  Accommodating Catholics’ holy day requirements means that they are able to attend mass AND focus the day on the Lord --- including abstaining from unnecessary work.  He suggested that telling your employer early in the year about the four Catholic holy days of obligation which may fall on weekdays and that requesting vacation days would allow them “to make reasonable accommodations” for your absence.
For Catholics confused about the requirements of Holy Days, he suggested the reading of John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Deus Domini, the Day of the Lord.
Fr Ed also noted that the State of Michigan public schools allow for religious absences similar to the federal law.
He concluded by noting that ignorance of the Church requirements is no sin, so please don’t rush to the confessional for past lapses, if you were not aware.
But you are now.

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Yesterday afternoon I was visited by Corey Huber and Tom Cronquist, from the Matre Ecclesiae Fund For Vocations, which I support.  We had an enjoyable chat and dinner in downtown Plymouth.  Coming from a much busier metropolis, they greatly enjoyed the atmosphere of small town America, and we had some wonderful conversation about their work, and God’s work in our lives.
The Fund For Vocations assumes the college debt payments of men and women seeking to enter religious life, and if they make their final vows, pays off the debt entirely.  It is a great non-profit, and supporting it enables me to back up my prayers for priests with more concrete actions.  It’s not exactly buying a new priest, but I like to think of it that way ---- my sacrificing of my more selfish purchases, and participating in God’s answering of my prayers.
Tomorrow morning, after my usual Saturday morning breakfast with a friend, I’ll drive a couple of hours up to Saginaw, Michigan.  There I’ll join Corey and Tom at mass in the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, where Sister Mary Micaela Hoffman will be taking vows of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan.  She is an MEFV grant recipient.  I look forward to the blessing of seeing something I was a part of being brought to fruition. 
What I did was a little thing, but as I’ll witness tomorrow, little things can make a big difference.

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