The following statement of beliefs, values, and commitments from the June 2023 Catholic Agitator (newspaper of the L.A. Catholic Worker) offers another take on how different Catholic Worker communities frame what they do.
“A Catholic Worker Primer” was originally drawn by Chuck Trapkus in 1986 and continues to be distributed and reprinted in Catholic Worker circles as much for its ability to distill the essence of the Movement as for its fun and irreverent style.
Complete scans of the newspaper from its first issue in 1933 through 2021 are available at the Catholic News Archive, which is maintained by the Catholic Research Resources Alliance.
The Catholic Worker Archives comprises more than 200 cubic feet, including the personal papers of Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin, and others involved in the movement; records of past and present Catholic Worker communities; photographs; audio and video recordings of interviews, talks, television programs, and peace demonstrations; and a wide variety of publications.
The Works of Mercy are an abiding norm for the Catholic Worker Movement. Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin lived lives of “active love” built on these precepts.
Here are some key articles by Dorothy Day on the theme of the Catholic Worker’s “Aims and Purposes.”
A timeline of the life of Dorothy Day cin the context of the history of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Worker Movement, and the world. Created by Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty.
This essay by Jim Forest on Peter Maurin was written for The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History published by the Liturgical Press.
An account of the birth of the Catholic Worker Movement on May 1, 1933, in New York City’s Union Square, from the opening paragraphs of “All Is Grace: a Biography of Dorothy Day,” by Jim Forest. “Dorothy found more bewilderment than enthusiasm from those who had the paper thrust into their hands. They all knew The Daily Worker, a Communist paper that was a militant supporter of unions and strikes. But a radical paper, a paper for workers, put out by Catholics?”
This article is from the introduction to the book Praying with Dorothy Day by James Allaire and Rosemary Broughton.
The Aims and Means of the Catholic Worker movement describe its goals and the means by which the movement hopes to achieve those goals. The Aims and Means have taken many forms over the years; the following are some of its iterations.
- Reprinted from The Catholic Worker newspaper, May 2019, 86th Anniversary Issue
The Catholic Worker Movement began simply enough on May 1, 1933, when a journalist named Dorothy Day and a philosopher…
Tom Cornell, associate editor of The Catholic Worker and a leader in Catholic peace and justice movements, offers a brief overview of the Catholic Worker Movement.
The articles for the On Conscience theme were compiled and prepared by Nicholas Fustos (Westminster College, PA) and Angela Lahr…
This essay was written by Jim Forest on the Catholic Worker Movement for The Encyclopedia of American Catholic History to be published by the Liturgical Press. Jim Forest, once a managing editor of The Catholic Worker, is the author of Love is the Measure: a Biography of Dorothy Day; and Living With Wisdom: a Biography of Thomas Merton. Both are published by Orbis.
Presented at the Dorothy Day Centenary Conference, Marquette University, October 10, 1997. This article also appeared in a shorter form as “The Trouble With Saint Dorothy“, U.S. Catholic, November 1997.
Summary: On the tenth anniversary of The Catholic Worker she explains their purpose as promoting love of God and our brother. Their work expresses the beauty of Christianity in supporting the worker, the poor, and eschewing violence. She highlights instances of violent racism. (DDLW #919) The Catholic Worker, May 1943, 4
Summary: Restates the central vision of the Catholic Worker Movement as working for “a new heaven and a new earth, wherein justice dwelleth.” This vision recognizes the “primacy of the spritual” and the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. The Catholic Worker is “a new way of life” involving Houses of Hospitality for the daily practice of the Works of Mercy and Farming Communes where each person can take responsibility of doing their part. (DDLW #182). The Catholic Worker, February 1940, 7.
Summary: States that the purpose of the paper is to articulate the Church’s social program and to popularize the Popes’ social encyclicals. (DDLW #12) The Catholic Worker, May 1933, 4 (First Issue)