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Rerum Novarum

November 7 @ 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Seminary Salutes to Labor, Business, and Government

Begun in 1991, the Seminary Salutes to Labor, Business, and Government event was created for  St. Joseph College Seminary’s to support the formation of college men discerning the priesthood.  The event honors lay men and women who are examples of Catholic Social Teaching in action, especially in the areas of labor, business and government.

The fundamentals of this award are: respect for the dignity of the human being and human labor, the right to organize, and the right to a living wage.  The evening provides the seminary with an opportunity to identify Catholic men and women in their fields, who by their example and work have promoted the social teachings of the Church. Those honored receive the prestigious Rerum Novarum Award from the Archbishop of Chicago at the Seminary Salutes dinner and award ceremony.

2023 Seminary Salutes: Rerum Novarum Awards
2023 Seminary Salutes: Rerum Novarum Awards

Watch the event video from our 2023 Seminary Salutes: Rerum Novarum Awards by clicking here.

About Rerum Novarum

In response to the excess of the 19th century capitalism and the exaggerated response of socialism, Pope Leo XIII in 1891 issued the first modern papal encyclical on labor and the dignity of the worker.  This tradition has been adapted and reshaped by Pius XI, John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II as conditions have changed over time. The fundamentals, however, have remained constant: respect for the dignity of the human being and human labor, the right to organize and the right to a living wage.

In the United States this tradition has been championed by John Ryan, Francis Haas, Walter Reuther, and Philip Murray among others, not to mention the innumerable men and women on the local level who have sacrificed so much for this vision.

The Church has called upon priests and seminarians to foster these goals, so it is especially fitting that St. Joseph College Seminary should honor the men and women of our day in business, labor, and government who have excelled in their support of these ideals.

In 1891 Leo XIII issued the first Papal document in modern times on the condition of Labor, Rerum Novarum.  He began with an ominous assessment: “The elements of a conflict are unmistakable; the growth of industry and the surprising discoveries of science … the enormous fortunes of individuals and the poverty of the masses . . . and, finally, a general moral deterioration.”

Over a century later, the challenge remains and involves all of us, as it always has. The men and women who are the institutions of family, labor, business, government and church must work together to renew the vision and demonstrate a common conviction in the dignity of every human being, in the value of all human work, in the power of human solidarity in the face of human greed and exploitation, and most of all in the coming of Jesus Christ whose death and resurrection are the vindication of all human goodness, justice and love.

Check back for more information, registration, and sponsorship opportunities for our upcoming annual Seminary Salutes Rerum Novarum on November 7, 2024.



November 7
5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Jillian Frick
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