Ask A Catholic: Catholic Diocese of Spokane’s newly unemployed Catholic School workers

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What questions do you have about Catholicism? Submit them online, or fill out the form below. 

By Mitch Finley

A friend who is a member of the Roman Catholic Church in the Spokane Diocese works as a lay para educator at a Catholic elementary school in Spokane. Now of course she is unemployed. She told me she’s not eligible for state unemployment insurance, which I guess is understandable because of separation of Church and State, BUT she said the Catholic Diocese is not offering any financial help either. I always thought the Catholic Church had a predisposition towards helping the poor, but  this makes me question that. It seems just plain wrong. What am I missing here?

Thanks for your question. This is clearly about local policies. So, I engaged in some local research. I contacted the Catholic Schools Office of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, and this is the reply I received:

“Our Catholic School employees are eligible for unemployment through a special federal program. The information on how to apply has been provided to all of our schools. In addition, our schools could apply for the Payroll Protection Program that provides eight weeks’ of full pay for all employees. Please encourage the employee to contact his/her school or our office.”

The person to contact at the Catholic Schools Office is Victoria Loveland, executive director, and the phone number to call is (509) 358-7330.  The email address is vloveland@dioceseofspokane.org .

  I hope this information will be helpful to your friend.

About Mitch Finley

Mitch Finley is the author of 30+ books on Roman Catholic theological topics and spirituality, all written to appeal to both non-academic and academic readers. Mitch holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in Theology from Marquette University. He and Kathy Finley have been married since 1974 and are the parents of three grown sons. To learn more visit mitchandkathyfinley.com.

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