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Towards a peaceful and prayerful Labor Day

I have just returned to Pueblo from a funeral in Jasper, Indiana, and this week want to share a few simple thoughts. Recently I wrote in the Living Garden about a joyful family reunion in Custer, South Dakota, where our family re-united after some seventeen years. Following that, my cousin Don Charron organized a contingent to drive from Custer to Billings, MT, to see my mother. Mom is now 98 and incapacitated, as you know. Because of Don, Mom was able to visit with her last surviving sister, Mary, and last surviving brother, Bishop Joseph Charron, and several cousins. In fact, Don brought our family together with Mom three times over the past five years. Sadly, it was Don’s funeral I concelebrated with Bishop Charron last week in Jasper. Don had suffered a heart attack, and after a brave fight, he passed on. He was only 59.

Don built a loving family and a successful business on the values of his Catholic faith. It was important for him, as CEO of a company which he made international and quadrupled in size, to personally visit his associate employees wherever they were and to be connected to all of them. This eventually involved trips to Mexico, China, Thailand, Romania, Germany, Poland, India, Wales, and the UK. Last February, while planning his retirement, he found time to come to Pueblo, to visit me and be part of our Catholic Charities Benefit Concert. He made an impression on a lot of people here. I want to thank all those who have been in prayer through this vigil for Don and his family, and for the Masses offered for their intentions.

"I want to thank all those who have been in prayer through this vigil for Don and his family, and for the Masses offered for their intentions."

I bring Don to mind especially as we prepare to celebrate the real meaning of Labor Day. It was not his work ethic alone that inspired so many. It was his empathy and care, and respect for the dignity and wellbeing of each of his associates and their families that deeply changed their lives. Sometimes we realize that we know, or have known, people who wholeheartedly have engaged the real work of life, which is people. The people we work with, the families we come home to, this is the real labor of the vineyard. Losing my immediate relationship with Don has been difficult. However, it makes me appreciate so many of you in our fold who know and follow the same path of compassion, understanding, and energy which is the foundation of our mission. Our mission is, indeed, to labor for Jesus, to be His loving hands in the world.

To this purpose, I look forward to seeing you soon. Our Deanery Eucharistic Gatherings are scheduled for September and October, where we will discuss our next steps in the Eucharistic Revival. Of particular interest will be a proposal for a catechetical walk-through the Mass, requested in the surveys and convocations of the synodal listening process. We are going deeper into the meaning of the Mass and looking forward to hearing of the efforts of each parish in the Eucharistic Revival, and of the fruits that are being born.

Towards a peaceful and prayerful Labor Day for you and yours, may Our Lord give success to the work of our hands.

+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg

Bishop of Pueblo

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