Labor in the Pulpit

Saint Mary’s of the Assumption, Brookline

April 8th, 2018

After years of trying to get a Labor in the Pulpit presentation at St .Mary’s, pastor Fr. Brian Clary scheduled a meeting with me and agreed to give it the green light by handing off the entire logistics to the parish social director, Mr. Albert L’Etoile. I want to stress that Mr. L’Etoile is a Eucharistic administer and is the social director for after-mass meetings. However, he is in no way affiliated with the Social Justice organization for St. Mary’s. I was mum when he suggested I contact them. Indirectly, I asked Fr. Clary if they might be interested in any of the Mass Interfaith Worker Justice campaigns. Fr. Clary informed me that they were not interested and instead requested that I communicate directly with Mr. L’Etoile in establishing an initial venue.  

Mr. L’Etoile published information on the Labor in the Pulpit presentation in the bulletin for approximately five weeks prior to the event, which was held after the Sunday Service on April 8th at 11:30 AM in the adjoining school cafeteria. It coincided with the after service social, but he set aside a seating area in the cafeteria for Mass IWJ. There were maybe five total parishioners, and thank you Joyce Harvey for attending and padding the audience to a whopping six. Although this was not a typical presentation from the pulpit, there were some nice advantages to this venue. Firstly, it gave a more personal feel to the presentation. Also, it provided a nice opportunity to later talk with a couple of attendees who were very much interested in Mass IWJ and its campaigns.

Because of the extemporaneous and impersonal venue, we met a professional lawyer who is very interested in Mass IWJ and plans on attending our meetings. She can potentially be quite the ally, as she is an immigration lawyer. We also met another woman who is a marketing professional.

The presentation by the Airport Workers was greatly appreciated. Supervisor Damian Oquendo and his co-worker Dayail Gethers were compelling in detailing the plight of our airport workers and their struggles while working for the subcontractor of some of the major airlines, such as Jet Blue.

I cannot thank Jeb Mays enough and everyone at Mass IWJ for their support and responsiveness. I never gave up faith that this was possible at my parish. It just took some perseverance and eventually finding the right contact. Perhaps now there can be the beginnings of establishing a strong Mass IWJ presence at St. Mary’s of the Assumption.

Thank you to all,

Alan Comeau


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