Entries by Bill Droel

St. Francis

The Working Catholicby Bill Droel The modern age began, let’s say, in 1500. That date is precise enough to include two pioneers of modernity. Christopher Columbus made his trans-Atlantic journey and was discovered by Native-Americans in 1492. Martin Luther (1483-1546) took a 16 ounce hammer to the door of All Saints Church on the hollowed […]

God Takes Delight

The Working Catholic: God’s Pleasureby Bill Droel Ben Cross died last week. He was an actor best known for his portrayal of Harold Abrahams, an Olympic runner, in Chariots of Fire (Warner Brothers, 1924). Abrahams is a Jewish student at University of Cambridge. He has to deal with anti-Semitism on his way to the 1924 […]

Labor Apostle

The Working Catholicby Bill Droel There’s a new edition of Christian Socialism: An Informal History by John Cort (Orbis Books, 2020). Gary Dorrien of Union Theological Seminary provides its introduction. The book generally goes in chronological order from the New Testament onto the Church Fathers (East and West), then St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and St. […]

St. Joseph

The Working Catholic: St. Joseph Dayby Bill Droel Some years ago I was part of a lobby group to change the feast of St. Joseph the Worker from May 1st to the first Monday in September. The change would apply only to dioceses in the United States; the country that has Labor Day in September. […]

Workers in New York

The Working Catholic: Exhibit about Workers by Bill Droel Museum of the City of New York (1220 Fifth St., New York, NY 10029) just ended an exhibit about the history of workers in its city. It’s not too late, however, to enjoy the exhibit. It is the basis for City of Workers, City of Struggle […]

Formation through Action

The Working Catholic: Action Is Necessary by Bill Droel “Consuming and participating in politics by obsessive news-following [and] by arguing and debating” is not politics, says Eitan Hersh in Politics Is for Power (Simon & Schuster [2020]; $27). To binge on MSNBC, devour Fox News or constantly share one’s opinions with friends and family on […]

Christmas Shopping II

The Working Catholic: Christmas Shopping Part II by Bill Droel Clothes were once made in the U.S.  Yes, labor abuses occurred in our domestic production–in cotton plantations, mills and factories. Conditions greatly improved, however, with the labor laws and reforms introduced by President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) and his Labor Secretary Frances Perkins (1880-1965). Through the […]

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

The Working Catholic: Christmas Shopping by Bill Droel Will your shopping for gifts this holy season include buying apparel? Be warned: It will be difficult to find clean clothes. Some are hopelessly stained with child labor, even slavery. Most have flaws like sweatshop wages, dangerous working conditions, wage theft, harassment and more. In recent years […]

Strikes

The Working Catholic: Strikes by Bill Droel Strikes are in the news: auto workers, janitors, teachers, hotel workers and more. Catholicism has a well-developed doctrine on labor relations that includes moral considerations regarding strikes. Most Catholics, I suspect, know nothing about this doctrine. Some who know about it don’t accept it. Catholicism says that a […]

Disabling Help

The Working Catholic: Disabling Help by William Droel Good intentions are not enough. Indeed, good intentions can be harmful. Tarence Ray provides a case study of wasteful, ineffective and disabling social improvement programs in “Hollowed Out: Against the Sham Revitalization of Appalachia” for The Baffler (https://thebaffler.com/; 10/19). He assessed 15 organizations in his region that […]