Thank you, Worcester Bishop Robert McManus …

By Rosalie Tirella

… for standing up for working families in Massachusetts, along with the other fab MA prelates, to call for an increase in the state’s minimum wage. The Catholic church has always been on the vanguard of economic justice. Unlike our disappointing Worcester politicians, you’ve spoken from your heart. You’ve spoken the truth: people who work in the service industry don’t get paid enough money. Their 40 hour a week paychecks, sometimes cobbled together with two or three McJobs, have left them unable to pay for the basics, like rent or groceries. So many hungry kids in our state!!!! The Catholic church sees this reality every day as it works with the state’s working poor. Whether it be through its many food pantries or soup kitchens or the work of Catholic Charities the, in this case, MOST EXCELLENT CATHOLIC CHURCH, has its fingers on the pulse of the hardscrabble lives of so many Worcester working men and women.

I was raised by a single mother who worked 60 hours a week at a minimum wage job to keep her three girls fed, warm, clothed and sheltered. She was pretty, intelligent, wise, even enchanting, but her life opportunities were limited. So her life was hard. No minimum wage worker should have it as hard as my mom and her three daughters did.

So today, the first day of spring, I honor my late mom with a REBEL GREEN ISLAND GRRRL YELL! A living wage for all workers!!!!! RAISE THE FUCKING MINIMUM WAGE!

I wish Worcester City Council folks and chamber head Tim Murray would speak the truth, do the right thing, just as our bishops have on this first day of spring! INCREASE OUR MINIMUM WAGE, now a paltry $8 an hour, to something higher, more equitable.

No hunger, no poverty, no violence, no fear for Worcester’s working men and women!

And always remember what Jesus said: It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to experience heaven.

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