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2023 Annual Membership Donation

As we send out our Labor Life to coincide with Saint Valentine’s Day, it occurs to some that the football playoffs were once over and completed well before this point of the year.  Perhaps there might be mountains of money involved…

There is good news in that many faith communities venerate and recall Saint Valentine, a Third Century Christian Martyr. While the presence or absence of archaeological evidence can affect one’s listing or omission in the worship calendar, there is agreement that a Valentinus endured imprisonment during the reign of Claudius Gothicus for assisting Christians who were persecuted by the Emperor. Another suggestion has him witnessing the marriages of Christian couples, thereby allowing many husbands to avoid military conscription. Hence our patron of married couples and romantic love.

We know a good bit more about Saint Nicholas of Myra, Asia Minor, known for his charity and who died in the century following Valentine. From this point, there is no direct line connecting a venerated pastor with “Father Christmas” or “Santa Claus,” other than the human need for meaningful stories and narratives, with some of these crossing cultural and language frontiers. Saint Nicholas is the patron for over a dozen occupations and classifications in the human community, without even including Catholic Charities or the Salvation Army!

How about those who we come to consider compelling and close to God through their daily lives? As we gathered recently to commemorate 40-year Guild Member and late Senate President Thomas Birmingham, his grieving spouse Selma Botman reminded us that her husband slipped his Rhodes Scholarship time at Oxford University in between two Harvard University degrees. Even so, while on Beacon Hill Tom never forgot the Chelsea community that formed and sustained him, along with all workers of the Commonwealth. Other sources remind us of the Senator’s advocacy for education, human rights, and the Affordable Housing Trust Fund that likely has processed $500 million since its 2001 inception. May we not view this as the lived reality of compassionate love for others?

Please consider renewing or beginning an annual contribution to the Labor Guild, in commemoration of our 40-year member Tom Birmingham and so many advocates for local workers. Our pro-bono world-class faculty have taught countless students since 1952. May our future work recall their dedication and commitment.

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day!

Rev. Marc Fallon, C.S.C.

The Labor Guild, Archdiocese of Boston

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