Peace in the heart of Christ! In anticipation of Labor Day, I am giving Sister Michael the week off from writing her newsletter article. Allow me to introduce myself as one of the “new” CK Sisters at St. Peter School this year. My name is Sister Mary Catherine and I am here on Tuesdays and Wednesdays serving as an assistant to Sister Michael. When I am not here at St. Peter, I work in the Diocesan Religious Education Office. This is not my first time at St. Peter School; I had the privilege of teaching here 2007-2010 before I left to become principal at St. Joseph School in Beatrice. It is a tremendous blessing to return after five years away, and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to work with so many children and families who I did not know when I was here before.
Labor Day is coming soon and the anticipation of a three-day weekend brought to mind the topic of work. Depending on our career, we either get up early to prepare for work or stay up late to accomplish the work entrusted to our care. Some of you may be taking a break from work to read this newsletter. School is one of the best places to learn what it means to work hard. Your children are learning to appreciate the gift of working hard to develop and foster the gifts of nature and grace they have received from you and the Lord.
For all of us, young and formerly-young, work has value. God Himself labored throughout the first days of creation. Jesus Christ was known as the son of a carpenter during his earthly life. St. Ignatius of Loyola reminds us that God continues to work in the world out of love for us. In the lives of the saints, we read of the tremendous labors of missionaries througout the world, holy men and women laboring for the salvation of their brothers and sisters. In his life of hidden fidelity to God’s will, St. Joseph, the patron of workers, reminds us that our labors have a dignity. They are part of God’s plan for the world. Pope Francis says that, “By responsibly cultivating the goods of creation, we grow in dignity as men and women made in God’s image.”
To balance our efforts to work hard (at school and later in our places of employment), we must also have times of rest and rejuvenation. What did God do on the seventh day? He RESTED. Our culture values a strong work ethic and productivity, but sometimes we too easily sacrifice the time that would best be spent resting and enjoying family and friends. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to do that on Labor Day!