spiritual director

Provisions for the Long Haul

MANY CAREER COACHES and job market experts offer this advice: Don’t use online job boards as your main job search strategy. Networking and finding supportive organizations often are the game-changers for the long-term unemployed. Here are a few suggestions and resources:

  • THE 300 LIST

In early 2014, during a congressional squabble over extending unemployment benefits, the White House started a program for companies to voluntarily hire the long-term unemployed. About 300 companies signed on. Visit whitehouse.gov, and enter “For Recruiting and Hiring the Long-Term Unemployed” in the search box.


This nonprofit ecumenical group with 14 chapters throughout Pennsylvania offers seminars and resources to assist the unemployed. Services are free. josephspeople.org


This successful public-private partnership started in Connecticut and has expanded to 10 major cities, including Chicago, Detroit, and San Francisco. The organization places workers into jobs and subsidizes their wages for eight weeks. After that trial period, the company has the option to hire the worker full time. platformtoemployment.com


They are connected people. Send them a résumé and ask if they can help. Also, encourage them to provide funding for re-employment programs. To find your representatives and their contact information, go to whoismyrepresentative.com for national representatives; openstates.org for state representatives.

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Living the Resurrection on Mother's Day

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, "Woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." (John 19:24-27)

Mother's Day is always fun when the kids are young -- the homemade crafts, the valiant efforts of breakfast making, and the conscientious attention a mother receives in contrast to the usual "being taken for granted" and "aww mom, do I have to" gestures. My son is a sweet boy -- caring, empathetic, and a rule follower. When I was pregnant with him, it was as if this little organism had invaded my whole body. I felt pregnant from head to toe -- migraines, severe morning sickness, bloody noses, swelled feet, strong cravings for watermelon, and oh yeah ... my favorite: constipation. Sorry if that is sharing too much, but like I said, I was literally pregnant from head to toe.