Heard Around the Catholic Worker (#5)

Here’s a roundup of Catholic Worker news for March 20, 2023, including four calls for volunteers, Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin as literary figures, the impact on the Catholic Worker on sociologists, news from Cassandra Dixon in Palestine, and more.

If you have news to share, send it to jerry@catholicworker.org.

Media of Interest

Book Review: Communion of Radicals: The Literary Christian Left in Twentieth-Century America

Review: What can the writers of the Christian left tell us about the future? by Terence Sweeney in America (March 3, 2022)

Sweeny reviews Jonathan McGregor’s Communion of Radicals: The Literary Christian Left in Twentieth-Century America. The book argues that Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day are significant literary figures of the Catholic left alongside more conventionally literary figures such as T.S. Eliot and Walter Percy:

Reading about Day and Maurin, I was reminded of the beauty of their writing and the moral force that beauty conveyed. They showed that writing can sometimes move mountains. These chapters are literary scholarship at its best; McGregor makes you want to read Day and Maurin again or read them for the first time.

A Look at Sociologists Influenced by Activism in the Catholic Worker

From Criticism to Activism: Sociologists Influenced by the Catholic Worker Movement by Harry Murray in The American Sociologist, February 27, 2023.

H/t Rosalie G. Riegle. From the abstract:

This article traces the infuence of the Catholic Worker Movement on a small set
of sociologists: Paul Hanley Furfey, Gladys Sellew, Mary Elizabeth Walsh, Gordon
Zahn, Michael Harrington (actually a political scientist), and the author. Experience
with the Worker moved these sociologists into addressing several interrelated social
issues: capitalism, militarism, racism, poverty, and homelessness primary among
them. It also led them to some rather unusual forms of activism, ranging from living
in interracial houses in poor neighborhoods during the 1930’s to civil disobedience.
The article concludes with an argument for incorporating such forms of activism
into sociological practice.

Murray is professor emeritus of sociology and anthropology at Nazareth College. He is also the author of Do Not Neglect Hospitality: The Catholic Worker and the Homeless (1990, Temple University Press).

“I see much good that has come out of having regularly committed civil disobedience for my sociological career,” he writes. “For one thing, jail is a unique window through which to view society – what goes on in the jail reveals how society treats its most marginalized members. and spending an occassional night or two in jail serves as a good barometer for what is happening in society. Nothing confrmed the reality of white supremacy as clearly as spending time in jail.”

Anna Maria College Podcast on the Catholic Worker

“The Catholic Worker” with Dr. Marc Tumeinski on the AMCAST podcast (March 17)

“In this AMCAST episode, Dr. Marc Tumeinski discusses his recent book review of Maurin’s essays and how Maurin’s beliefs, and those of Dorothy Day, created the Catholic Worker Movement which is still active in Worcester and around the world.”

Amistad CW Welcomes People Evicted from Tent City

Mark Coville (Amistad Catholic Worker) was interviewed in a March 15 news story on Hartford’s FOX 61 news program about New Haven’s eviction of Tent City residents.

CW Newsletters & Other Media

DL Mayfield: Writing an Unruly Saint (CCW Ep 11)

In the latest episode of Coffee with Catholic Workers, author D.L. Mayfield joins Coffee with Catholic Worker to talk about her new book, Unruly Saint: Dorothy Day’s Radical Vision and its Challenge for Our Time.

Hospitality (Open Door Community, Baltimore)

The Open Door Community has released the March/April 2023 issue of Hospitality. Articles include:

  • “Seeking Hope in Memphis” by Peter Gathje
  • “Restoring to Full Humanity” by John Cole Vodicka
  • “Light Comes In the Morning” by Catherine Meeks
  • “Let the Healing Begin” by Rev. Jennifer Lee
  • “Christmas Comes to Death Row” from Mary Catherine Johnson
  • “Dick Rustay: An Appreciation, Part 2” by Eduard Loring
  • “Memories of Anne Braden” by David Billings
  • “The Box” compiled by Ed Loring
  • “This Ain’t My World” a poem by Sam, a Georgia Prisoner

To receive a copy, write to the Open Door Community.

Via Pacis (Des Moines Catholic Worker)

The Des Moines Catholic Worker has published the March 2023 issue of Via Pacis. Articles include:

  • p.1 – Road Trip Report: National CW Gathering Oct 2022 by Frank Cordaro
  • p.1 – Catholic Workers Needed by Austin Cook
  • p.2 – Indifference (a poem) by Tod Barry
  • p.2 – A Farewell From the DMIEC
  • p.3 – Love and Reflections on the DMCW by Claire Lewandowski
  • p.3 – Two New Holy Families by Araceli Benitez-Moya
  • p.4 – Tiny What? by Julie brown
  • p.4 – Following the Will of God, an update from Rev Bob Cook
  • p.5 – Free Jessica Reznicek Update
  • p.6 – Norman’s Celebration of Life by Sheri Clemons
  • p.7 – Remembering Norman by Kari Fisher & Donna Henderson
  • p.8 – Seeking Help for Our New Community Members by Austin Cook
  • p. 9 – A Reflection on Luke 6 by Austin Cook
  • p.9 – Who Are the Actual Domestic Terrorists? by Bob Watson
  • p.11 – Former DMCW Carla Dawson, Wins 2023 Bp Dingman Award
  • p.11 – Prayers for Richard Flamer

You can view a PDF of the newsletter at the Via Pacis website.

The Sower (Strangers and Guests Catholic Worker)

Brian Terrell of Strangers & Guests Catholic Worker Farm (Maloy, Iowa) writes that the spring issue of The Sower is now available:


Betsy and I just finished putting together the spring issue of the Sower, news from our farm here in Iowa.

Betsy reports on our craft retreat that brought locals and Catholic Workers to our house from the midwest and beyond and about the journeys that 2 of the goats and I (separately) have undertaken in recent months.

I reflect on the CW approaching its 90th anniversary on May 1 and where I see the movement today and into the future. Excerpts from the “Farm with a View” column in the CW paper in the ’70s that recall Betsy’s good work there in the day.

Our neighbor Don Ray writes about the CO2 pipelines set to cross Iowa devastation that big corn has wrought here.

Thomas Merton, in 1962, warned that the enemy is not the other, but war itself.

I look forward to seeing many CW friends in resistance in Wisconsin next weekend and the Sacred Peace Walk in Nevada the week after that.

Thanks to all who support us in so many ways. Come visit!


The Sower is available in print and PDF editions from Strangers and Guests CW.

Call for Volunteers

Actions & Resistance

Catholic Worker Injured by Israeli Settler

Cassandra Dixon of Mary House of Hospitality was seriously harmed by an Israeli settler on March 7 while she and an Italian observer were in the hills outside of Hebron near a village called Tuba. Both were volunteers with Operazione Colomba (Operation Dove), the “nonviolent Peace Corps” of the Pope John XXIII community based in Italy, She issued this statement.

Pax Christi, CWers Call for End to War at Cathedral

The Ben Salmon Chapter of Pax Christi USA and friends including Catholic Workers gathered on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse, New York to encourage parishioners attending  Mass there to practice the nonviolent gospel of Jesus, resist drone warfare, and end the U.S. shipment of weapons worldwide. They also called for peace negotiations to end the war in Ukraine. A two-minute video of the action is available on Youtube.

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