On this week’s show Monsignor Sullivan speaks with NYS Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, about his recent trip to Bangladesh to observe its garment industry conditions and also comments on the state’s current affordable housing trends. Also on the show is Shari Krull of Catholic Charities affiliated agency Grace Institute to speak about its involvement in the current Lean In movement and the many programs it offers women as Women’s History Month comes to a close.
Left to Right: David Cortright and Sr. Katarina Schuth
This week Monsignor Sullivan celebrates the one year anniversary of Pope Francis with Sr. Katarina Schuth of the St. Paul Seminary. Also back on the show is the Kroc Institute for Peace’s David Cortright who speaks about the crisis in Ukraine and what it means for regional stability as Crimea referendum nears.
I hope President Obama was not trying to surprise his wife and daughters with the gifts he brought for them at the Gap when in New York earlier this week.
We all know the point wasn’t the gifts, but rather his desire to highlight the increase in wages that the Gap has committed to paying entry-level workers. This certainly was a good thing to do.
It’s encouraging that some of the lowest paid workers will be getting a moderate increase. A couple thoughts came to mind. When I checked around, I discovered that our Catholic Charities agencies were already paying the increased new minimum to their entry-level staff and were also providing benefits (By no means did I do a comprehensive survey, but what I learned certainly corresponds to my experience). Human service agencies, even while strapped for funds, do try to provide for their workers just as they do for those in need.
The other thought I had – and I admit I am more than a little focused on this after my recent trip to learn about the garment factories and their workers in Bangladesh – I only saw a small reference to the actual sources of the goods bought and sold in stores like the GAP. What are the working conditions in the factories in China, Bangladesh and other places that produce these goods? I can tell you that much progress has been made, yet much more progress is necessary to ensure safe working conditions in these factories. We need to make sure that American brands are part of the ongoing efforts to increase the safety and health conditions of these factories.
Good that the wages were increased. And there are other issues both in the United States and elsewhere that need to be addressed regarding the international ready-made garment. Let’s not lose sight of these other issues.
On this week’s show Monsignor Sullivan speaks with Kerry Webber of America Magazine about her new book “Mercy in the City” and corporal works of ministry we are all invited to do during this Lenten season. Also on the show Catholic Charities Trustee and former Deputy Mayor of New York Stan Grayson who speaks about his experience being an African-American student in the predominately white campus of Holy Cross during early 70s and also his thoughts on economic development in struggling communities.
Because that’s who we are: we’re not hermits living in isolation.
We live in the world with others and we are made in the image and likeness of God.
A good spiritual selfie can’t crop out the other people or God!!
How do we do it?
Purging – kinda like fasting Pondering – kinda like prayer Paying it forward – kinda like charity
Purging/Fasting gets us to focus on our own needs and wants. It enables us to realize what is necessary and what we have come to depend on – even if not so necessary. It could be food, entertainment or – dare I mention it – even social media When we refrain (or try to) from eating or doing other things, we get a clearer picture of ourselves.
Pondering/Praying focuses on God: thinking, talking, listening. We must have or at least should have a few things we’d like to say to God. Certainly God has some things he would like to say to us. And there is quite a bit about God that I don’t understand that I should think about some more.
Paying it Forward/Acts of Charity puts us in touch with the needs of those around us. Maybe it’s a meal or cup of coffee, a visit to the hospital, or a lonely relative; maybe it’s a ride home – out of our way to a colleague; maybe it’s a kind word to a stranger on the street.