Evangelization at work (sorry, long post)


#1

To what extant is it appropriate to state your religious views in the workplace when topics come up, when you are asked etc. At what times is it better to keep your mouth shut? How does one summon up the courage to speak up if it is needed? I am a huge coward in this regard. I am not at all ashamed to say that I am Catholic and I go to church but I hesitate to attempt to tall anyone I don’t believe in contraception or premarital sex for fear they would not understand. Even though I am very pro-life, I avoid discussing this becuase of the political side to the abortion debate. I fear someone asking me who I voted for.

Three examples

!. It makes me sad when people discuss forms of birth control which I know are abortifacent (sp?) but I don’t know how to explain that. These are intimate topics anyway and I am afraid people will think “she’s not having sex, what does she know.” For example a co-worker was showing pictures of her bueatiful two-month old granddaughter and she said “she’s on that Depo-Provera shot so she won’t get knocked up again.” I know from what I have read that that form of BC can cause early abortions but I did not say anything except that she was a cute baby.

  1. How should I have explained to a Muslim friend at work when she said “What is Mass” after I had said something about being at Mass that morning. I just kind of said “that is what we call our worship in Church” or something like that. I know that that is a poor answer but I do not know how to explain about Jesus and the Eucharist to someone from Muslim country.

  2. I have a male friend at work (I am friends with his wife also-she works with us too) who will often ask me about my faith and will often say to me -almost like he is challenging me to preach to him- “I was baptized Roman Catholic but I left long time ago”. I have given him a Father John Corapi CD and he loved it becuase he loved Father’s personality. But, I need to tread carefully becuase he is a man and he will sometimes make very explicit sexual comments to women at work and he has made sexual comments to me. I don’t feel at all sexually harrassed (it is not like that) but I feel embarressed by it and extremely uncomfortable. Sometimes I will walk away. He brags about his collection of porn and if I show disapproval he will say “The body is beautiful” which is true but … I think I should give him something on Theology of the Body but I do not think discussing such intimate matters with him is appropriate so maybe I should avoid discussing that aspect of the faith with him.

Any thoughts or advice on any of these esp. No.3 as it is ongoing?

Sorry this post is so long.


#2

Honestly, I thought your response to #2 was adequate. The person asking probably didn’t want a long explanation of what the Mass is, she just may not have heard that term before.

With #1, usually these are things people have to learn for themselves. Look at the comment…the grandchild is wonderful but the daughter shouldn’t get “knocked up” again? This person has a negative attitude toward fertility as it is…you are not going to change that.

With #3, that could be considered harassment. The person should NOT be asking you this question at all! And really shouldn’t be persisting if you have shown a reluctance to talk about it. Next time he asks, say, “I hope you enjoy that CD, but I have come to realize that it is inappropriate for you to ask me about this in the workplace. I should have put a stop to it immediately. I am doing that now. Please do not bring up this topic again.” If he persists even after that, it is a matter for your HR department to handle, and he should be reported for keeping it up. Plus, he doesn’t sound like he really wants any honest discussion of this…it sounds like he just wants to bait you.


#3

Your reply to #2 was good – if your coworker wants to know more, let her lead the way.

As far as #3, you are **most definitely **being harrassed – if anything he says makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s harrassment. It doesn’t need to be groping or personal remarks. Bragging about one’s collection of porn would offend me and make me very uncomfortable, and a sexual comment directly to me would be over the top. Tell him you do not want to hear such remarks, and if he persists, contact human resources. It doesn’t matter that he is a “friend” – he is taking advantage of your friendship. This cannot continue.

'thann


#4

I agree with thann regarding number 3. It may not bother you, although in my opinion it should, but it may bother someone else. By not saying anything about it, you are almost condoning it.
Regarding number 2, you are doing the right thing. Answer as many questions as the person has. Just be careful not to force more information on her than she has asked for.

Regarding number 1, remember that if these people aren’t catholic then they aren’t accountable to catholic teaching. You might try changing the subject to avoid the topic of ABC. Regardless, you should pray for all these people.

I always evengilized by example in the work place. I was not afraid to tell people about my faith and I always had a crucifix somewhere in my office. Sometimes it would bring up questions, and I never had a problem answering them.


#5

My co-workers know I am Catholic, I make rosaries during my breaks. Now my agnostic superior has told me her daughter is married to a Catholic (this after 18 months!) and she would like me to make some rosaries for her grandchildren.

Sometimes she will ask me a question regarding Faith or moral theology and I usually answer as clearly and briefly as I can, leaving it to her to carry on discussion if she wants.

Apart from that, I witness by my actions. That includes giving thanks before eating, with the Sign of the Cross.


#6

OP again.

The situation I describe in #1 happens so often. It is so hard. I hear so much talk about birth control and sterilization surgeries. Once, in the cafeteria I overheard a conversation at another table where a lady was talking about going to Planned Parenthood to get a prescription. I don’t know whether it was for birth control or morning-after pill. The women is Catholic and has a rosary tattoo.I said nothing becuase it was obviously not a conversation I was involved in but she was talking very loudly and I felt awful. The worst part is, the more it happens, the less awful I feel. My conscience becomes numb. I have thought about putting pro-life pamphlets in the breakrooms when no one is in there and I know it sounds ridiculous but it might make my conscience feel better.

As far as #3, I do not think it would be considered harrassment whre I work. This guy once asked our boss if she enjoyed performing a certain sex act (he used a metaphor but even I knew what he was talking about) and she was not offended and answered in the affirmative. She’s a married grandmother in a management position. I actually do sometimes say “Don’t we report sexual harrassment to Miss B in HR” This does not scare him in the least. He replied to me “She will take my side. We are secrectly having an affair and we will name our firstborn child after you.” He says this with his wife working nearby. Believe it our night, I actually repeated that to Miss B in HR when I happened to see her (the line about her) and she almost choked but she laughed. She does not take him seriously. It does not bother me most of the time but sometimes it is quite embarrasing. He actually said to me “You are a pervert too-you just have to meet the right man.” For him to say that to me was crossing a line-I walked away and I felt so uncomfortable with that.

Sorry this is such a long post and this may seem to reflect badly on my workplace.


#7

I used to work in a place like this. I don’t anymore. Maybe you need a new place to work.


#8

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