Seminars will combine employment, spirituality - Catholic Courier

Seminars will combine employment, spirituality

Are you currently working? Do you feel fulfilled in your job?

If either answer is no, then some upcoming seminars hosted by the St. Mary/St. Matthew Faith Community may be well worth checking out. They’ll take place at St. Matthew Church, 6591 Richmond Mills Road, Livonia, for five consecutive Monday evenings during Lent (Feb. 27 to March 26.) Adult men and women of all ages, including nonparishioners, are invited to attend.

The program is designed to add a spiritual component for those seeking new employment or wishing to be more gratified in their current work. Each session will last approximately 90 minutes, with half the time devoted to presentations and the rest to discussion and question-and-answer opportunities.

Among the planned topics are managing self-respect, finances and family/friend interaction during a work outage; defining what you’re best suited to do and most want to do; developing an effective resume and cover letter and tailoring them to specific opportunities; and polishing interviewing and self-presentation skills. Another objective is to encourage parishioners from St. Matthew and St. Mary in Honeoye to seek networking possibilities for participants.

Sessions are being coordinated by Curtis Hill, a St. Matthew parishioner, in conjunction with Father John Hayes, pastor of St. Matthew and St. Mary. Hill said he’s seeking a balanced mix of folks to take part — hourly laborers, salaried nonprofessionals and professionals, people who are unemployed and underemployed, those who are employed but dissatisfied.

Hill said he’s sensitive to the fact that these subgroups will have varying priorities and expectations. For instance, he acknowledged that people who recently graduated from high school or college may view their futures differently than those nearing retirement age. On the other hand, he said, "It’s never too late to start. The great thing about being older is that you’re also wiser and can process yourself rapidly."

He emphasized that the series at St. Matthew will probe much more deeply than the typical resume-writing workshop. Rather, sessions also are about self-discovery based on the gifts God gave each individual to share with others.

"It’s not a remaking — it’s a making of who you really are. That’s where the spirituality kicks in," Hill explained. "Our parents grew up thinking that who you are is what you do for work. What you have to be attuned to now is, who I am is who I am — and what can I do with that?"

Hill said having this deeper knowledge might provide a spark to people who sense they could be doing something different with their careers but don’t know how to go about it. The end result may or may not produce a different type of employment or level of pay as in the past — but the odds of increasing self-satisfaction will have increased.

"You have to be more creative at finding the path. If you’re more creative, the job will find you," Hill said, adding that a strong job fit pays dividends in other parts of one’s life: "That affects how you relate with your family and the rest of the world."

Hill said he brought the idea for this program to Father Hayes based on how his own career has evolved. His college degree is in civil engineering, and after working in both the private and public sectors he’s currently an officer for philanthropical gifts at SUNY Brockport.

"I’m now in a business about people, not things," Hill said, adding that through his discernment he’s realized that he possesses strong presentation skills that have served him well in his current job as well as for the workshops he’ll be guiding at St. Matthew.

"The path has not always been straight, but it’s led to where I am right now," Hill said, adding that he’s lost jobs and at times gone several months without work.

Father Hayes noted in a Jan. 8 bulletin notice announcing the seminars that he knows "a number of people who have held several different types of employment" and the current job landscape remains shaky. According to the United States Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in the Rochester metropolitan area rose from 5.4 percent in October 2008 to 8.3 percent just four months later. Though unemployment figures have dropped in the past year, they currently hover around 7 percent, which is still significantly higher than prior to the Great Recession.

EDITOR’S NOTE: For information on the employment seminars, call St. Matthew Church at 585-346-3815.

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