« Summer of Classics 2010 | Main | Working: Fireman »

Working: Priest

Perhaps the most interesting section of Studs Terkel's Working is the final one, called "Fathers and Sons", which presents not only each worker's reflections on his own job, but also on his father's job or his son's. Thus this section not only included the steelworker Steve Dubi, but also his son, Father Leonard Dubi, who abandoned blue-collar work (with the strong encouragement of his father, who never found fulfillment in his work) in favor of the priesthood.

When I got out to St. Daniel's three years ago, I had an agenda for myself. I was trained in a very liberal seminary. I saw social action issues - war and peace and poverty. I spent my deacon years - before I was ordained - at Catholic Charities. It was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. I was a fisherman pulling people out of troubled waters. Trying to bring them back to life with artificial respiration and Band-Aids. Then I'd put them back on the other side of the river into the same society that pushed them in. I knew I'd have to do more than just be a social worker and patch up people.

So instead of handing out charitable aid, Father Dubi became an activist priest - fighting against Mayor Daley the First and the Crosstown Expressway, which would have destroyed thousands of working class homes, and against corporate giants U.S. Steel (ironically, his father's employer) and Commonwealth Edison for their noxious pollution that was poisoning thousands of people. In doing so, he undoubtedly improved the lives of countless more people than he ever could have otherwise. Father Dubi is still active, and is currently serving at St. Victor's in Calumet City.

October 7, 2010 in Books, Studs Terkel: Working | Permalink


I also read "Things Fall Apart" this summer and also felt like it was missing some little something. I liked the lean prose, actually, but wondered if maybe something was lost in translation.

Posted by: Amy Watkins at Oct 22, 2010 8:58:44 AM