Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture

Drop Shadow

Faculty/Staff Prayer Breakfast

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

7:15 - 8:30 a.m.

La Gran Terraza

Co-sponsored with Mission and Ministry

Pausing as We Pass the Lilies in the Field: Where Jesus, Marx and Marcuse Meet in Conversation

The Theme for the Catholic Social Thought Focus at USD this semester is the Dignity of the Worker. A Faculty and Staff Prayer Breakfast is focusing upon this theme at La Gran Terraza on march 8th beginning with a buffet at 7:15 a.m. A presentation on the theme of the Dignity of the Worker by Gerard Mannion of the Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture will follow from 7:45 to 8:25 a.m. including time for questions.

In the twenty-first century people are busier than ever in their working lives. Voluntary commitment to outside activities has markedly decreased. With new technology people are increasingly never away from work. The World Health Organization has identified stress as one the biggest killers on our planet today. Relationships and communities all suffer as a result of contemporary workplace cultures. We work longer and longer hours and more and more intensely. And yet the evidence suggests that in countries where these trends are found, workplace productivity is significantly down. Something is evidently wrong with how we are ordering our lives. The Christian tradition has much to say about the dignity of the human being and how this can and must be enhanced through their work activities. Here we find a surprising convergence between the Gospels and modern political and social philosophy, which have all found a fusion in many movements and campaigns throughout the world. How do we combat the contemporary dehumanizing forces of worker alienation and consumerism? Some brief insights from some surprising sources are offered for reflection.