Fr. Les Schmidt, right, of Virginia listens as Fr. Larry Dowling leads an afternoon session at the April 22 Priest-Labor Initiative meeting. (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)
If the first meeting of the Priest-Labor Initiative served as a crash course into what it means to be a labor priest, its second resembled somewhat the presentations elementary students give their first week back to school on how they spent their summer vacation.
Fr. Clete Kiley, right, speaks at the Priest-Labor Initiative April 22 while Fr. Jerry Tobin listens. (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)
Coming together as a group for the first time since May 2012, part of the annual conference of the National Federation of Priests’ Councils, the priests brought with them more than curiosity; they brought stories of their experiences from the past year.
Workers from several Las Vegas casinos seeking to unionize address members of the Priest-Labor Initiative April 22 as part of an all-day labor workshop. (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)In the Seattle diocese, Fr. Gary Lazzeroni has worked with food service employees at the University of Portland. On the opposite coast, Fr. Evelio Menjivar of Washington, D.C., joined an interfaith group pushing for immigration reform, while Fr. Ty Hullinger has attended rallies and worked in opposing a new casino in the Baltimore area.
Fr. Richard Vega of Los Angeles, right, shares his experiences as a labor priest at the second meeting of the Priest-Labor Initiative, held April 22, in Reno, Nev. (NCR photo/Brian Roewe)
Farther south down Interstate 95, in his diocese of Camden, N.J., Fr. John Thomas attempted to persuade a Catholic high school to relocate a class reunion from an Atlantic City hotel at odds with the union UNITE HERE. New to the group, Fr. Jerry Tobin, who learned of the initiative by reading NCR, has aligned with workers in Mississippi trying to unionize at Nissan auto plants. Continue reading “A year later, labor priest movement gains momentum”