Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Question Corner - Sunday Shopping

By Father Kenneth Doyle, Catholic News Service
Father Kenneth Doyle

Q. I am a sports professional and have various opportunities for endorsement deals. Can you tell me whether it's all right to be sponsored by a brand whose stores are open on Sundays? (I know that Sunday shopping is a grave sin.) (Naples, Florida)

A. First, I admire the question. It shows a special sensitivity to the importance of spiritual values. The morality of Sunday shopping depends, in my mind, on what you are shopping for. I can see how you might need a carton of orange juice, a newspaper or a bottle of Advil on a Sunday; but skis or a new tennis racquet don't seem to present the same urgency, and they could well wait until Monday.
A sporting goods store (which I presume is what you're talking about), by staying open on Sunday, could be forcing its employees to forfeit a day of worship, family time and suitable relaxation. I would be hesitant, though, to say that Sunday shopping is necessarily a grave sin. If you were to skip Mass in order to shop, that might indeed be a grave sin -- and I would question those who spend several hours every Sunday doing the family shopping for the week when a different day could work just as well.
In your own situation, the ideal would be to tell the company trying to recruit you that you find their policy of Sunday openings objectionable; coming from a professional athlete, that might have an impact. Alternatively, I suppose, you could take the job and work from the inside to change the company's business practice -- but I see that as being unlikely. 
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Questions may be sent to Father Kenneth Doyle at and 30 Columbia Circle Dr., Albany, New York 12203.