September is the ninth month, but the word September actually means "seventh month". Before the time of Julius Caesar the Roman year had ten months. The first month was March, which made September the seventh month. There was no January or February on the calendar. Calendars were also mainly used by farmers, who had no need to track time during the winter months. Leaders announced the beginning of spring each year.
Labor Day is considered by many to be "official" end of summer. Some of us remember when it marked the end of summer clothes and white shoes or sandals, only to reappear at Easter, the "official" beginning of spring. Labor Day is a day set aside to reflect on the work we do. Over the course of our lives, we spend more time working than we do any other activity. Until the last century or so, most people worked on farms. They worked long days and the pace of life was slower. The Industrial Revolution changed that. New farm machines meant that fewer farming jobs were available. Farm workers began to move to the cities, where they took low-paying jobs in factories. They worked as many as 16 hours per day with machines that had little or no safety equipment. Children often worked as well to help supplement family incomes. The labor movement began as a response to those conditions. Unions gave workers a way to stand together to force reform. The first official Labor Day was celebrated in New York City in 1882. Several popes of the last hundred years have written encyclicals to speak for the dignity and rights of workers.
We are pleased to share in the labor of educating the children of St. Joseph's. School has gotten off to a wonderful start! I continue to be grateful to the people of St. Joseph's for their support of our educational programs, and the labor of our Board of Education who devotes many volunteer hours to ensure the continued success of our programs.
I wish you all a wonderful September!
Mrs. Phyllis Konchar