Catholic Workers live a simple lifestyle in community, performing the Works of Mercy and promoting social justice. Some Catholic Worker communities are located in urban settings, while others exist in small towns or suburbs. About two dozen run farms. Each community has its own character: some serve the homeless and hungry; others reach out to immigrants or trafficked people. Still others focus on environmental or labor issues. And some Catholic Worker communities are primarily devoted to resisting war and injustice. By definition, all of these communities identify with the Catholic Worker Movement started by Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day in early 1933.

As a Christian anarchist movement, the Catholic Worker has no “headquarters” or central governing authority. Each community operates independently. Most communities operate according to some form of consensus decision-making, as does the Movement as a whole. The Movement is guided by the Aims and Means.

Income for Catholic Worker houses can come from outside jobs held by members or by cottage industries developed by the community, but most houses survive on donations. Every Catholic Worker house can use donations of money and/or specific items like food, clothing, etc. Most can also use volunteers from the surrounding community to help with the work. If you feel called to do something about poverty and homelessness in your community, your local Catholic Worker house would be a great place to start.

To find Catholic Worker communities, view the main Directory of Catholic Worker Communities page.