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Frequently Asked Questions
Contents. . .
  1. How can I subscribe to The Catholic Worker newspaper?
  2. How can I make a contribution to the Catholic Worker?
  3. Where is Dorothy Day buried?
  4. What's the name of that recent movie about Dorothy Day?
  5. I want to volunteer in a Catholic Worker community.
  6. I want to start a Catholic Worker house.
  7. I want printed information, photos, etc... about Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker.
  8. How do I get copyright permission to reproduce Catholic Worker art by Fritz Eichenberg, Ade Bethune, and others?
  9. I'm looking for a copy of the poster or the famous photo of Dorothy Day on the United Farm Workers picket line.
  10. Other items. . .

Question: How can I subscribe to The Catholic Worker newspaper?

The Catholic Worker newspaper is not online. Subscription or copy requests must be sent by regular mail to The Catholic Worker, 36 East First Street, New York, NY 10003, United States. Phone: 212-777-9617. The newspaper was started by Dorothy Day herself in New York City in the 1930s'. The price has been and will remain a penny a copy, excluding mailing costs. It is issued seven times per year and a year's subscription is available for 25 cents (30 cents for foreign subscriptions), though all donations in excess of that amount go to the hospitality houses associated with the paper, Maryhouse and St. Joseph House.

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Question: How can I make a contribution to the Catholic Worker?

Donations and gifts to the Catholic Worker can be sent to any Catholic Worker community. All have more needs than the resources to meet them. Perhaps you could go to http://www.catholicworker.org/communities/commlistall.cfm and locate a house or community near you or one whose description matches your concerns. If necessary, you will have to check if a community is tax-exempt or not, some are but most are not.

Since each house or community is independent of all the others, there is no central way for a gift to one community to be shared with the others.

If your intent was to give a gift to the New York community that publishes The Catholic Worker newspaper, their address is: The Catholic Worker, 36 East First Street, New York, NY 10003, Phone: 212-777-9617.

Thank you for thinking of the needs of the Catholic Worker movement.

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Question: Where is Dorothy Day buried?

Dorothy Day is buried in Resurrection Cemetery on Staten Island, New York. Her grave, near the office, has a symbol of loaves and fishes and reads "Dorothy Day, November 8, 1897 - November 29, 1980, DEO GRATIAS". A map to the cemetery can be found on map websites using the address: 361 Sharrott Ave, Staten Island, NY. It is near Tottenville, Staten Island.

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Question: What's the name of that recent movie about Dorothy Day?

Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story (Paulist Pictures, 1996, 112 min.) is available on video in some video rental stores. The movie, featuring Moira Kelly as Dorothy and Martin Sheen as Peter Maurin, covers Dorothy Day's early life and the founding of the Catholic Worker movement to about 1938. The movie only hints at the profound works for peace and justice that would follow in the next 40 years. But well worth watching.

Read a Jim Forest review of the movie on this website.

A new documentary by Claudia Larson titled Dorothy Day: Don't Call Me a Saint is not yet commercially available. Watch this website for an announcement when it is on DVD.

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Question: I want to volunteer in a Catholic Worker community.

Volunteer opportunities in Catholic Worker houses are rarely advertised. Occasionally you may find ads in the New York Catholic Worker newspaper or in Sojourners magazine. We advise interested persons to contact the Catholic Worker house they are interested in directly. An online directory of Catholic Worker houses with address, phone and occasionally a description of the community's activities, can be found at http://www.catholicworker.org/communities/. In addition, the New York Catholic Worker newspaper publishes a list of houses in their May edition. See previous question for where to write.

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Question: I want to start a Catholic Worker house.

Anyone can start a Catholic Worker house and there are many ways to do it. You do not need permission to call yourself a Catholic Worker. Before you do so, however, you would probably want to make sure that your philosophy and activities are generally in accord with The Aims and Means of the Catholic Worker. Our general advice is:

  1. Do an informal needs assessment of your community. Where are the unmet needs? What services does your house want to provide?

    Talk about whether you will be primarily doing hospitality, resistance, or some combination of the two. Many factors will go into this consideration: your temperaments and inclination, the location you are in, the amount of support you can gather, etc..
  2. Start small. You can always expand when you get more resources and people.

    Beware believing you can solve all the problems of your guests and the temptation to get big or become an "organization." Dorothy believed in staying small and non incorporated.
  3. Visit and live in an existing Catholic Worker for a while to make sure that this is really a lifestyle for you. Alternately, request their publications, or go to regional gatherings (there are periodic East coast and Midwest gatherings every September).
  4. Check out the zoning, occupancy, and public health laws of your community. Whether or not you choose to comply with them is up to you but it's good to know them in case you run into difficulties.
  5. Build a network of people, religious institutions, and charitable organizations who can support you. You can start a Catholic Worker house by yourself but working in community is a whole lot easier and most houses don't last very long without outside help.

    Learn to beg. You will be amazed what people and businesses will give you if you beg. Dorothy was a master at making appeals. The early Worker used to "picket St. Joseph", i.e., pray a lot for what they needed. You will receive all that you need.
  6. Know the laws and requirements governing tax exemption and charitable solicitation in your community. The Catholic Worker has traditionally refused tax exemption but some houses have departed from this philosophy for fundraising purposes. Again, whether or not you choose to comply with these laws is up to you.
  7. Start a newsletter and mailing list. Having a newsletter/newspaper helps with receiving donations and is a way of spreading the "good news" to the wider community. You will also get volunteers that way.
  8. Pray, pray, pray. Many houses have regular community prayer and Eucharist.

When you have started a Catholic Worker house, please send information about your new house to The Catholic Worker newspaper (See above), the online Catholic Worker Directory of Communities (See above) and the Catholic Worker Archives (See above).

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Question: I want printed information, photos, etc... about Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker.

All the information we have is on this Web site and those to which it is linked. You are welcome to download anything you want for personal use. Please observe any copyright restrictions. News media or publishers wanting photographs or scholars wanting primary materials for research are invited to contact the Dorothy Day-Catholic Worker Collection at Marquette University.

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Question: How do I get copyright permission to reproduce Catholic Worker art by Fritz Eichenberg, Ade Bethune, and others?

  1. Fritz Eichenberg used to make his art work available free to any Catholic Worker publication when he was alive. Since he has passed on, his artistic estate is being managed by an intellectual property firm named VAGA: Visual Artists and Galleries Association, Inc. They do not share Eichenberg's philosophy and will charge you an arm and a leg to reproduce his work if you decide to contact them — even for nonprofit, non-commercial use. It's sad, really, and we would hope that some generous benefactor would buy the rights to Eichenberg's Catholic Worker pieces and donate them to the Catholic Worker Archives so that they might be publicly and freely available for non-commercial use as he had intended. Most CW newspapers with limited circulation don't know or don't care about this and continue to use Eichenberg's work as before. Contact:
    VAGA, Inc.
    350 Fifth Avenue,
    Suite 6305
    New York, NY 10018
    Tel: 212-736-6666, 212-736-6767 (fax)
  2. Ade Bethune makes any of her Catholic Worker art available for nonprofit, non-commercial use. She does ask that a donation, scaled to profit or non-profit use, be given to the College of St Catherine library for maintenance of her archives, the Ade Bethune Collection, which is a conduit for these requests. For particulars, see http://www.stkate.edu/library/spcoll/bethune.html.

  3. For other Catholic Worker artists, we have no information and suggest you contact The Catholic Worker newspaper or the Archives for assistance.

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Question: I'm looking for a copy of the poster or the famous photo of Dorothy Day on the United Farm Workers picket line.

The poster, with the quotation "Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy rotten system", is available online from Donnelly/Colt Progressive Resources Catalog at http://www.progressivecatalog.com/catalog/socjusposter.html.

The original photo on which the poster was based was taken by Bob Fitch. His work is available for licensing from Black Star. Contact them for more information but be forewarned that the licensing fees are steep and no exception or discount is made for nonprofit, non-commercial use.

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Question: Other items. . .

  • Send all historical questions not answered by available online information, as well as requests for copies of old Catholic Worker articles and other archival documents to Phillip Runkel, Phil.Runkel@marquette.edu, at the Catholic Worker Archives. For articles by Dorothy Day, please check the Dorothy Day Library to make sure they are not already available online.

  • Send all Catholic Worker house address changes, openings, and closings to Jim Allaire.

  • Send comments and suggestions for this website and report non-working links to Jim Allaire Due to time constraints, I may not be able to answer all correspondence personally.

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