Despite inflation, business challenges, the human person remains central, bishop says

Attendees offer one another the Sign of Peace during the 29th annual Mass for Commerce on Oct. 26 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. The annual liturgy is geared toward the Catholic business community, allowing working professionals to grow spiritually while networking with like-minded fellow Catholics. (Photos by Gabriella Patti | Detroit Catholic)

29th annual Mass for Commerce reminds business community to live out faith in all aspects of life, including the workplace

DETROIT — During the 29th annual Mass for Commerce at Sacred Heart Major Seminary on Oct. 26, Catholic businessmen and women from across the Archdiocese of Detroit came together to celebrate the Eucharist as a community and renew their zeal to live out their faith in all aspects of life, including work.

Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Fisher presided over the Mass, which was concelebrated by Msgr. Charles Kosanke, pastor and rector of the Basilica of Ste. Anne, and Fr. Stephen Burr, rector of the seminary. The Regina High School Choir, led by music director Eleonore Ellero, provided music for the Mass.

Addressing the nearly 200 attendees, Bishop Fisher said Catholics are called to live their faith in every corner of life, from home to school to the workplace, showing the sincerity of their faith to all.

Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Fisher waits to accept the gifts of the altar during the 29th annual Mass for Commerce on Oct. 26 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.
Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Fisher waits to accept the gifts of the altar during the 29th annual Mass for Commerce on Oct. 26 at Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

“It can be a real challenge to do that, especially when we have cultural forces that are working against us,” Bishop Fisher said. “That’s why we come together as a community, to come together to defend God’s word and for his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity to give us the strength to go out there and truly live boldly."

The Mass for Commerce is an annual opportunity for those who live their faith in the public arena to be rejuvenated spiritually, make connections with other like-minded Catholics and be inspired to live their faith as joyful, missionary disciples.

By baptism, all Catholics are called to take Christ's message out into the world, Bishop Fisher said.

“Every person has to make a choice, but the basic one is either life with God or life without God,” Bishop Fisher said. “We choose life with God, and (we) say we want to love as He has called us to do — to love God and to love our neighbor. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that to love is to will the good of the other person in every situation, even — especially — if love isn't coming back our way.”

Catholic professionals pray together during a luncheon following the Mass in Sacred Heart's gym. Despite the pressures facing businesses, from inflation to employment, the Catholic faith grounds decisions in the dignity of the human person, Bishop Fisher said.
Catholic professionals pray together during a luncheon following the Mass in Sacred Heart's gym. Despite the pressures facing businesses, from inflation to employment, the Catholic faith grounds decisions in the dignity of the human person, Bishop Fisher said.

Businesses across Michigan are facing unique challenges as they try to keep their businesses afloat in a difficult economic environment, said Emily Berschback, director of alumni relations and special events at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, who is also part of the steering committee for the Mass for Commerce. Events like the Mass for Commerce remind men and women of faith that they aren't alone, Bershback said.

Just as other professions celebrate annual liturgies, such as the Red Mass for lawyers or the Blue Mass for law enforcement, the business community also needs to be bolstered and celebrated as a community of faith, Msgr. Kosanke said.

“A lot of these people, they’re owners or employers, and so they're influential decision-makers in commerce, and to be able to encourage them to utilize their values and their faith in those decisions is really helping them to live out the Second Vatican Council's vision of the lay apostolate,” said Msgr. Kosanke, who also was celebrating his birthday and his 25th anniversary of being involved in the Mass for Commerce.

Catholic businessmen and women pray together in Sacred Heart's chapel.
Catholic businessmen and women pray together in Sacred Heart's chapel.

In addition to problems such as inflation and employment, businesspeople are also being challenged when it comes to operating their businesses according to their consciences, Msgr. Kosanke added.

In spite of such challenges, the witness of the Catholic faith is strong and has much to offer to the business community, he said.

“In everything that we do, the dignity of the human person is primary,” Msgr. Kosanke said. “And so, in business, whether that means good working conditions, decent salaries, or honest work, everyone has to come together, employers and workers, in order for everybody to win."



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