Bishop says "No Sunday Shopping"
- A Wedge Issue in the Culture Wars
July 18, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Catholic bishop of Phoenix, Arizona,
quoted in the Arizona Republic, told a congregation attending the most
recent priestly ordinations that the world has suffered with the loss
of the religious observance of Sunday as a day of rest. The article, which
appeared in the July 17th Sunday edition, posed the question, "Whatever
happened to Sunday?" It reflects the observation of many Christians
that the day which used to be reserved to religious and family togetherness,
has turned into "an extension of Saturday," filled with errands
invariably including shopping.
of Phoenix said, "Keep the Lord's day holy. . . refrain from all
shopping and enjoy Sunday as a day of rest, a day of leisure, a day for
family, a day for celebrating the Eucharist."
to the loss of the observance of Sunday is another feature of the general
de-Christianizing of western culture since the end of the second world
war. Some say it is one small symptom among others, but others see it
as the thin edge of the wedge and one which may easily be reversed. According
to a 2003 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as many as 33% of
workers are at work on Sundays and holidays.
a married Catholic layman involved in the burgeoning Latin Mass community
in Phoenix, says that his family as well as the other families involved
in the traditional Catholic community take the Sunday religious and family
observance as a serious part of their faith. Skojec, a realtor and father
of two, told LifeSiteNews.com, that the observance of Sunday is worthwhile
for its spiritual benefits. "For my wife and I, being in real estate,
Sunday is a big money making day. But we feel, if we forego the ability
to make money on Sunday, God will bless us."
of restoring Christian culture is one that interests many young Catholic
and other Christian lay people. The leadership of Christian communities
can help by encouraging the growth of genuine Christian social and political
movements such as pro-life activity, a project at which the new bishop
of Phoenix has excelled.
which has recently made the Latin Mass much more available, has also encouraged
other traditional Catholic measures to counter the secularizing trend.
Bishop Olmstead recently welcomed five sisters from the same cloistered
order of nuns as Mother Angelica of EWTN fame to his diocese. Fr. Frank
Pavone of Priests For Life was also recently featured giving talks on
the right to life in a Phoenix parish. Bishop Olmsted is also often seen
protesting outside area abortion mills.
implied that the observance of Sunday, what Catholics refer to as the
'Sunday obligation' extends further than merely attending Church services.
He said, "To us, if we forego the ability to make money on Sunday,
God will bless us. In our minds, the avoidance of temporal gain on Sunday
is rewarded with spiritual blessings."