Two months ago, CNS did a story on how parish groups are helping the unemployed find work, or at least get spiritual and practical support while job searching. The latest edition of The Monitor, diocesan newspaper of Trenton, N.J., highlights similar parish groups in the Trenton Diocese.
Some of these groups are new, in response to the current economic crisis, but one has been around since leaner times.
At St. Catharine Parish in Holmdel, the Employment Resource Committee has been going strong for nearly three decades.
Deacon John Flanagan, author, time-management expert and retired vice president for Prudential Property and Casualty Insurance, started the group in 1981. When it first started, the group met a few times a month with about three participants.
Today, the group meets every week and includes a network of hundreds of volunteers with business and professional skills. Parishioner Angelo DeRosa, who helps coordinate the group, said the first year he was involved he saw 15 people get jobs.
“That set the tone for me,” he said.
“The people who come to us, they come after unemployment has run out, after they’ve gone through everything they can go through. We give them the hand of God.”