Our world of work often seems a separate sphere, cut off from the rest of our lives and operating on its own peculiar values, goals and rules.

Many people have begun to sense a gap, a sort of divide, between the spiritual dimension of daily life and the work that they do. Our world of work often seems a separate sphere, cut off from the rest of our lives and operating on its own peculiar values, goals and rules. There is a growing interest in our communities to bridge this gap through Christian faith.

One of the goals of the Moss Program on Christian Social Thought and Management of the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought is to provide forums where people of faith can explore the relationship between faith and work in relation to the demands of various professions. Over the last year, a group of Catholic lawyers and judges have been meeting monthly to do just that.

Utilizing a process developed by the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, these men and women meet each month over coffee and bagels to pray together and to reflect on concrete situations they face in their profession. Topics are identified in advance and explored in essays or articles that point to particular moral or spiritual dilemmas. These resources are linked with selected Scripture passages and questions that shed light on the issue and offer a way to examine it from a Christian horizon. Discussion is both lively and serious as members of the group grapple with the demands of professional life in light of their Christian faith.

Recent topics have included the question of trust and loyalty to firm and family, and a discussion of an in-house lawyer’s decision to blow the whistle on fraudulent practices at his insurance firm. At another meeting devoted to the question of the legal profession as a vocation, Patrick Schiltz, associate dean and professor at the St. Thomas School of Law, came to join the group in prayer and to share his thoughts on the Catholic nature of the School of Law and the university’s hopes for its future.

If you are interested in more information or in participating in one of these forums, contact the Moss Program on Christian Social Thought and Management at (651) 962-5713, or send an e-mail to pdsavage@stthomas.edu.