In this Year of St. Joseph, the second of his feast days is approaching on May 1. On this feast, we celebrate St. Joseph the Worker.

In the days leading up to this feast, have your students consider their future jobs and careers along with the meaning of work. Here are a few resources to help you begin planning a lesson.


Read this quotation from the USCCB document Economic Justice for All:

All work has a threefold moral significance. First, it is a principal way that people exercise the distinctive human capacity for self-expression and self-realization. Second, it is the ordinary way for human beings to fulfill their material needs. Finally, work enables people to contribute to the well-being of the larger community. Work is not only for oneself. It is for one's family, for the nation, and indeed for the benefit of the entire human family. (52)

Have the students write these three reasons in their notebooks or journals in their own words.


Have students honestly answer these questions as a way to help them gauge their strengths that might translate to a future career.

  • What do other people say are your strengths?
  • What do you think you are good at?
  • What talent do you enjoy using the most?
  • What school subjects to you excel in?
  • What honors or special awards have you received?
  • What special experiences have you had?


Ask students to list both positive and negative reasons for considering each of these options after high school:

  • Attending a trade, technical, or business school
  • Enrolling in a local junior college
  • Attending a state four-year college
  • Attending a private four-year college
  • Enrolling in an online college program
  • Being trained on the job
  • Entering the military service where you can get job training


The following are top ten personal characteristics employers seek in job candidates. Have students rate themselves 1 to 10 (10 being the best) for each characteristic. Then ask them to write a short summary evaluating what their ratings taught them.

  • Honesty/Integrity
  • Motivation/Initiative
  • Communication skills (oral and written)
  • Self-confidence
  • Flexibility
  • Interpersonal skis
  • Strong work ethic
  • Teamwork skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Enthusiasm


Pray together the Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker.

O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having death always before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch St. Joseph. Such shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.