September 8th, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Church invites jobless to place resumes on altar

(CNN) - A Catholic church outside Buffalo, New York is taking prayers for the jobless to a new level, inviting unemployed parishioners to place their resumes on the alter

"It's tough times," said Father Bill Quinlivan, who came up with the idea to collect resumes and pray for them at a recent prayer service, told CNN Buffalo affiliate WGRZ. "So we go to God with that."

Quinlivan is a priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Tonawanda, New York.

"It's an important lesson for us to realize we take our faith out into the marketplace and into the workplace," Quinlivan told WGRZ. "What sometimes some of us do is we tell God what we want instead of asking what he wants."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Economy • New York

soundoff (363 Responses)
  1. Reality

    From p.1:

    The gifts of Free Will and Future are inherent to all the thinking beings in the Universe. This being the case, it is not possible to alter life with prayers. Statistically, your request might come true but it is simply the result of the variability/randomness of Nature..

    So put down your rosaries and prayer beads and stop worshiping/revering cows or bowing to Mecca five times a day. Instead work hard at your job, take care of aging parents, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to charities and the poor and continue to follow the proper rules of your religion or any good rules of living as gracious and good human beings.

    September 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  2. Skeptic

    Elaine: " Regardless of your conclusions about the unknowable, a little compassion would be nice".
    I agree, compassion is a good thing. Support is fine. Why not open a resume writing center staffed by members of the church community? Just putting pieces of paper on an altar? It's like throwing resumes into a bond fire and hoping that the ashes float up to heaven and show some results.

    The problem are the side effects: irrational hope,

    September 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  3. Skeptic

    Sooo, god is not able to hear your resume prayers from home? Is there a better more sophisticated sound system in church?
    god has to be reminded, woken up to realize that we have many unemployed people? Do you have to be catholic to have a chance for a 'hearing'? What font size should be used to be legible? In what form will we get notified for interviews? If any?...

    September 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  4. Leafonthewind

    As long as this priest isn't promising results, let them pray. It does no harm, and if it makes him and his parishioners feel better, what's wrong with that? Even if I'm not a believer, I don't begrudge others their beliefs as long as their religious practices don't affect me.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • USmellLikePee

      So you're okay with Catholic priests touching kids as long as it's not your kid?

      September 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  5. Peace

    How could anyone enjoy heaven knowing that billions of innocent people are burning forever because they couldn’t buy into the logic of believing in something without any proof whatsoever.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • USmellLikePee

      Enquiring minds want to know!

      September 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • o.k.

      Peace–as a man of faith, I don't have an answer–no one can truly answer this question. But I will tell you this...it won't be my fault that you chose not to "buy into the logic." So, I'll go with that answer for now. That's not to say I hope this is your end–my hope, as the hope of all who accept Christ, is that you too will accept Him. But, I'm not going to beat you over the head with it–you can chose to accept or not–I have no desire, and certainly no obligation to bully you into a decision. I'm simply responding to your inquiry.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Fred1

      In heaven, the blessed often walk along the battlements and look down into hell, rejoicing in seeing god’s punishments being properly carried out there

      September 10, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  6. Elaine

    My goodness you people are literal. Try thinking of what this church is doing as a way for community to express concern for one another, to say we are thinking of you. It doesn't mean the job seekers don't have the education, skills, work ethic as well. It doesn't mean they are looking for magical solutions. Maybe they just want a little emotional support to help them keep going. Maybe, after searching the online job postings, applying for positions and being rejected without ever even having had a phone conversation with someone, they want to connect with real people. If you think prayer is about asking God for an ice cream cone and then dismissing his existence when one doesn't immediately appear in your hand, you have an immature view of religion, faith and humanity. Regardless of your conclusions about the unknowable, a little compassion would be nice.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Well said!

      September 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Pat

      "If you think prayer is about asking God for an ice cream cone and then dismissing his existence when one doesn't immediately appear in your hand, you have an immature view of religion, faith and humanity."

      So when someone puts the prayer out and it's still not answered after 2 – 5 years then I do think it does give some the right to dismiss it's existence, and that's not being immature.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Laughing


      As a heathen atheist with no soul I am compelled by satan to attack the church at every turn.

      That and this was way too easy to make fun of.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • USmellLikePee

      There's nothing wrong with someone needing a friend's should to cry on but then again most people don't believe their friends can raise the dead either. There's a distinct difference between "community" and "church".

      September 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  7. idecomp

    AMEN! Were two or more of us are together in the LORDS name miracles do happen. I had mine and now understand and believe. Come together with us and pray for a blessing for those being prayed over.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  8. us1776

    Ah yes, the "Invisible Being" cult.

    The world might be better if we just banned all of these religions.


    September 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      Hmm, you sound just like a militant religious group running a country: ban all other religions.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • us1776

      Not ban "all other", ban "all" religions, period.


      September 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • o.k.

      You mean like North Korea does? You do realize that your user name is synonymous with freedom of religious expression don't you?

      September 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  9. Bugsey

    The Catholic church laid ME off. Where does that leave me?

    September 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  10. prayer works

    We know that GOD DOES ANSWER PRAYER! If there are flaws, then it is in this study. I shall forever trust and believe in the power of preyer to my God.

    Here is a scripture for all you naysayers - 2 Timothy 2:13 "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."

    September 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • USmellLikePee

      Quoting scriptures is like quoting People Magazine. Both were written by men and have no credibility.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • doctore0

      Prayer works for Texas.. ohh wait, Texas is burning

      September 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • idecomp

      I'd say that there is a big difference between scripture and prayer. Scripture comes from a book influenced by the Holy Spirit and Prayer is a personal conversation between the LORD and myself. I learn more of the compassion of the LORD through the Holy Spirit in my conversations. That's where the understanding of those scriptures will come into play, the LORD will broaden my understanding of his word inorder to understand my path. Hasn't failed me since I learned to listen to his voice.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Leafonthewind

      Prayer does nothing aside from making those who pray feel a little better. Then again, there's nothing wrong with feeling a little better. Go for it.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  11. Joxer the Mighty

    Do you people purposefully read the belief blog just so you can call believers stupid?

    September 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • USmellLikePee


      September 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Chucky McLovin

      I do it to try to educate simple people like you. You ignorant people are the reason America has so many problems. Answer this: if god is real and prayer works, then why hasn't god ever healed an amputee's missing limb? (Hint: god isn't real)

      September 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      @Chucky Do you have any other catch phrases than that? If that's your only reason for not believing then you are the ignorant one.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Chucky McLovin

      So you can't answer my question. My reason for not believing in god is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE FOR GOD. Also, there is a mountain of evidence against an Abrahamic god. Please answer my question about amputees.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Leafonthewind

      @Chucky, enough already with the amputee question. Stop beating that poor dead horse. If more than 90% of the world's people believe in god in one form or another, they can't all be ignorant as you imply. It must be inherently in our nature to need to believe in something greater than this life. Save your rancor for those believers who attempt to control your life based on their religious values. This priest and his parishioners are doing no harm; it's just a community coming together for emotional support. Joxer is right - there's a lot of anti-religious sniping in these comments.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Claude

      "This priest and his parishioners are doing no harm; "

      LOL – try telling that to the people the WBC protest at their funerals. Try telling that to those that lost their loved ones on 911. It's all about being brainwashed but religious people are to stupid to realize it.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Chucky McLovin

      @Leafonthewind There was a time when nearly 100% of people believed the Earth was flat. Just because the majority of people believe something, it doesn't make the erroneous belief true or helpful. In this case, belief in god is quite destructive; it brings wars, divisions, violations of personal liberties, etc. It seems you don't like my question about amputees because it's SOLID EVIDENCE against an Abrahamic god.

      September 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  12. Peace

    Dear God, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme......screw the other guy who is more qualified...gimme, gimme, gimme.

    People please grow up and take responsibility for yourselves. There ain't no imaginary alien in the sky who is gonna do it for you.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      Why so mean? You don't know for a fact God doesn't exist so stop acting like you are better than believers.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • USmellLikePee

      She already is a better person by being a free thinker. Or at least a more intelligent one.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Chucky McLovin

      @Joxer God has never healed an amputee that prayed for their missing limb to return. That’s because god is imaginary and prayer is worthless.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      @chucky Just because you have never experienced something like that doesn't mean it can't or hasn't happened. @yousmelllikepee What makes not believing in God more intelligent?

      September 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  13. Bob

    I know a homeless guy who prayed to get a job – and he became a director in Walt Disney. Something he did not even expect.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • Peace

      and what about the 25,000 innocent children who will die of starvation today? I'm sure a few of them prayed also...FAIL

      September 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • Leafonthewind

      Director of what, exactly? For all we know, he's directing traffic in the Disneyland parking lot. I guess that beats homelessness, but what's your point? Pray, and big things will happen for you? For every person who claims to have received great bounty through prayer, there are several who acquired equal bounty through hard work, intelligence, and perseverance.

      September 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Peace2All


      I'm curious to hear more about this alleged person who became a 'director' at Disney, as a result of just prayer...



      September 9, 2011 at 1:53 am |
  14. prayer works


    PHILIPPIANS 4:6 SAYS " Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God".

    September 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Prayer does nothing, it has already been proven. How about you get and education, invent something, start a business then hire some people.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Chucky McLovin

      God has never healed an amputee that prayed for their missing limb to return. That's because god is imaginary and prayer is worthless.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Anton LaVey

      Yes put your resume on the alter and wait for something magical. *Rolling Eyes*

      September 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Anton LaVey

      So how do the christians know that it was his plan that they be unemployed??????

      September 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • o.k.

      Hasa–prayer has been proven to do nothing? Really–who proved this? When? What method was used to calculate this? Do tell.

      Chucky–your example is, frankly, stupid. Often, God's answer is "no." If the answer to every prayer was yes, then there would no need for faith–and He has made it clear that it is by faith that we are saved (a very objective and verifiable way of determining if we are saved–i.e. the character of a loving God–and not by some nebulous, undefined cosmic scale measuring our good deeds vs. our sins–i.e, the character of a not-so loving God.) How childish of you: I don't get what I asked for so screw you God or so you don't exist. My 5 year-old often cries when she doesn't get her way either.

      September 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  15. Steve Brinkhoff

    Interesting, since Jesus said god knows what you need before you ask for it. Seems a waste of time on two levels, the second being – there ain't no god.

    September 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Newyorker

      Well put!

      September 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • o.k.

      Steve, your atheism aside, you seem to think that prayer has one purpose–ask for the good stuff. You can choose not to believe, but we were made for a Relationship with God. Prayer is part of fostering that relationship. It isn't hard to understand this. If you have a relationship with someone, but your only communication with that person is defined as "give me" then that's pretty miserable relationship. Indeed, prayer is not meant solely for requesting some type of end result–its meant to draw closer to Him, to, for lack of better word, discuss anything and everything–as in any other functional relationship. As for His response, let's agree that you will only mock the small still voice that true believers recognize.

      September 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • USmellLikePee

      But you're having a "relationship" with an idea. That is not healthy either. The problem with a deity is that one always has to guess or "pray" for an answer as to what the god's plan is or what it wishes you to do. Then there are those who claim to interpret the wishes of said deity and behold, organized religion is formed. This then becomes an addiction. It's promise of good things stimulates the pituitary gland to produce endorphins. That's how it all starts and we all know how hard addiction is to break. People make up the most obsurd excuses to protect their addictions.

      September 8, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • o.k.

      Thank you Dr. Pee. I'll take your advise to heart.

      September 8, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  16. Marie

    Yes, it is wrong to give people false hope. People need to grow up.

    September 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Newyorker

      Is there any other kind of hope, than false hope?

      September 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  17. Newyorker

    If the Tea Party idi0ts start praying instead of brainlessly blocking Obama at every turn, they will have removed the biggest obstacle to job creation – themselves. Then Obama will finally have the chance to create jobs. Halleluyah!

    September 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • o.k.

      Nice try NY but it isn't that simple. The tea party (of which, admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of myself) didn't come into real power until after 2 years of Obama's "leadership" and the jobs were already tanking at that point. But, they're an easy target for the intellectually lazy, so feel free to continue your rant.

      September 10, 2011 at 12:29 am |
  18. Yay

    Cool, now let's pray for rain down here in Texas.
    Oh wait, Gov Perry already did that for us.

    God sent fires instead.

    Thanks god..../fail

    September 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  19. The Hoff

    So... they're praying that their congregation gets a job, but won't that take away a job from someone else who is applying? I mean, lets say two priests in two different congregations pray on two stacks of resumes. Then people from both congregations apply for the same job, which applicant will God give the job to? ...and how does this differ from what would happen if they're not praying on them?

    September 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • Stephanie

      Isn't praying effectively telling God that his plan isn't good enough? Seems like a lack of faith to me.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • The Hoff

      Agreed Stephanie. Its a message of "Hey, God... that plan you have... please change it. It's not working."

      If he didn't get it right the first time....

      September 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
  20. Carlton

    These are the things we all should be doing as believers in Jesus Christ and part of His body individually and for one another!!! This is what the world needs to see and hear about!!!

    September 8, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • Jesus


      September 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • Newyorker

      Prayer may make you feel better, but it does nothing to actually solve the problem. For that, people need to use what God gave them – their brains.

      September 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.