Entries by Bill Droel

Advent, Part III

The Working Catholic: Advent Part III by Bill Droel Every preacher has a sermon ready for this weekend or next in a folder labeled “Keep Christ in Christmas.” The theme is such a cliché that it is better to leave the folder in a file cabinet, away from the pulpit. Ordinary lay people know how […]

Advent Lesson

The Working Catholic: Advent, Part II by Bill Droel Contemporaries Karl Marx (1818-1883), Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) and Charles Dickens (1812-1870) were concerned about the social question: Why in an industrial economy that promises upward mobility is there so much misery? By the mid-1800s prosperity was arriving for “factory and mill and transportation interests,” writes Les […]

Christmas, So Soon?

The Working Catholic: Christmas So Soon? by Bill Droel The grocery store was more congested than usual this morning because Christmas has taken over two aisles—miniature lights, extension cords, wreaths, decorative boxes, greeting cards and wrapping paper. Plus there are several gift displays at the front and back of several aisles—trays of chestnuts/hazelnuts/pecans and holiday […]

Health Care

The Working Catholic: Health Care by Bill Droel Larry Keogh, a fellow teacher at our community college, began each semester by telling his students: “Life is not fair.” He used various techniques and examples to make this point. To master his course (social science) our students needed this maxim, Keogh believed. They likewise needed it […]

Shop Talk

Working Catholic by Bill Droel Lousy writing is intentional, insists George Orwell (1903-1950). Shoddy writers may not be aware of their bad intentions. But our writing “becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish,” he continues. And “the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” I was a […]

World Series

The Working Catholic by Bill Droel Back in March 2017 I picked the Dodgers in our usually friendly betting pool. I have admired the team, dating from the era that Roger Kahn describes in The Boys of Summer (Harper Collins, 1971). I wasn’t around to experience the debut of Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) in April 1947. […]

Theology of Work

Working Catholic by Bill Droel Death is the penalty we pay for Eve and Adam’s disobedience. How do we know? Because that is what our religion teacher said. Also, it is mentioned now and then in sermons. It is, however, fake news. Take a look at Genesis 3:4. Who explains things to Eve? It is […]

Housing, Part 3

The Working Catholic by Bill Droel I just returned from St. Paul. In the early 1970s, as part of the War on Poverty, I lived and worked in a St. Paul neighborhood called West Seventh. On this and in previous visits I observe a drastically changed West Seventh. Its anchor, the Xcel Energy Center, opened […]

Garbage Justice

The Working Catholic by Bill Droel Martin Luther King (1929-1968), one of our country’s foremost leaders in race relations, is less remembered for his advocacy of the dignity of work. The City of Memphis is sending a tax-free grant of $50,000 each to 13 retired sanitation workers, plus one more still on the job. This […]

Wages Part II

The Working Catholic by Bill Droel Back in 1992 New Jersey raised its minimum wage. Social scientists David Card and Alan Krueger studied its effects. Specifically, they compared fast food restaurants in New Jersey with others in adjoining Pennsylvania, where wages were not raised—a total of 410 restaurants. Their findings, published in the September 1994 […]