President Therber: Labor Day reflection on serving others through work

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Happy Labor Day weekend!

Labor Day originated in the late 19th century as an opportunity to honor and recognize the contributions of laborers in the early development of the United States. Since then, Labor Day weekend has evolved into a time to rejuvenate by relaxing, spending time with family and friends, and tending to activities outside of work.

While Labor Day is a national holiday and secular in origin, it is very connected to our Catholic Christian faith. Commenting in Italy in 2004 on the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, Pope John Paul II spoke of a “gospel of work.”  As we know, the word “gospel” means “good news.”  Work can be and can bring good news!

Jesus himself was a worker. Seeking neither fame nor fortune nor status, he directed his abilities to serving others through work as a carpenter. Work is a trait that Jesus and we share.

Pope John Paul II also taught that work is for man, not man for work. In its best sense, work exists for the development and advancement of people and communities.

As we enjoy this Labor Day weekend, please join me in offering a sincere word of thanks and a prayer for all workers, especially for two highly valued groups – educators and public servants.

teachers with masks

Scecina World Languages teachers Leila El_murr (French) and Nancy Greathouse (Spanish)

Educators include teachers and those who support them at Scecina and in schools everywhere. They engage in the noble work of helping our youth grow into the people whom God has created them to be. While the work of teaching is fulfilling, it also can be challenging, exhausting, and seemingly never-ending, especially now due to COVID-19.

Each day at Scecina, I see all our teachers engaging prayerfully, thoughtfully, carefully, and cooperatively to do the best job possible for our students and to prepare them for bright futures. The work has grown in complexity, yet our teachers continually rise to this new challenge and the new opportunity to make a lasting impact.

Our support staff, including counselors, office and facilities staff, and administrators, also are doing a fantastic job.  They truly are servant-leaders who meet their colleagues’ and our students’ needs so that they can reach their highest destinies.

Finally, to all members of our Scecina Community and beyond who labor in the essential work of health care, public safety, civic service, military service, and related fields, thank you for your service and sacrifice always and especially now. We are grateful for all you do to defend and protect our values and one another.

Happy Labor Day weekend. Please enjoy it, and may God always bless you with labor that enriches your life and brings joy to those around you.


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