The October-November 2006 issue of the Catholic Worker featured the following articles:
- Poor Policy in Las Vegas by Julia Occhiogrosso – Article on the Las Vegas City Council has banned two of the Catholic Corporeal Works of Mercy by banning “the providing of food or meals to the indigent for free or a nominal fee in city parks.” Suggests that Mass for the homeless or Jesus’ feeding of the multitudes would have been illegal under the new ordinance. Asserts that while City Council stated the ordinance was intended to help indigents find formal social services, claims that Las Vegas rates among the lowest in the nation in providing mental health and social services. Information in the article came from the Las Vegas Catholic Worker Community.
- The Only Solution is Love by Dorothy Day – Reprint of an article from the May 1978 issue of the Catholic Worker. Most important question from the article is: “All men are brothers, yes but how to love your brother or sister when they are sunk in ugliness, foulness, and degradation, so that all of the senses are affronted? How to love when the adversary shows a face to you of implacable hatred, or just cold loathing?” Contains reflections on love in community.
- NYC Tenants Need Justice! by Matt Vogel – Unfavorable commentary on the recent action of the NY Rent Guidelines Board raising rents by the largest margins since 2003. Explanation of the two types of rent control in New York city, the appeals process and ways for landlords to remove themselves from the system. Cites a New York University study on the problem of affordable housing in New York City. Article does not name the NYU study, but from context seems likely to be State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods 2005. Article also refers to the 2005 Housing and Vacancy Study prepared for New York City by the US Census Bureau.
- Fall Appeal by Editors – An appeal for funds to continue the publication of the Catholic Worker. They need more funds in part “The post office raises the rates for non-automated mailings, like ours, much more steeply than those of automated ones. Our understanding of personalism includes a commitment to manual labor and resistance to the upping of the ante of automation for as long as possible, since we know that many jobs are lost in that process.” NON-tax deductable donations can be sent to the address that appears in the “to subscribe” section below.
- A Young Nurse in Brooklyn by Bill Lonneman – A story of Dorothy Days service as a nurse in late 1910s/early 1920s. Author suggests that experience helped to “ground her and confirm her sense that direct care for human beings in need was a critical element in her life and the life of a healthy society.”
- Pit Stop Ploughshares by Carmen Trotta – Account of the acquittal of five people who took part in a Ploughshares protest in Ireland. Also discusses jury nullification and ways that nations can wage war without using the word.
- Report from the West Bank by Jo Roberts – Observations on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank from an American who spends some time in the village of Hares in the region of Salfit. Ms. Roberts was in the West Bank as a member of the International Women’s Peace Service (IWPS).
- The Image of God by Bill Griffin – Religious based condemnation of torture focusing on biblical material used by the Rabbis for Human Rights-North America. An example of their rhetoric not used in the article can be found on their website: “R. Akiva says… You should not say: Because I have been dishonored, let my fellow man be dishonored along with me… R. Tanhuma explained: If you do so, know whom you are dishonoring – ‘He made him in the likeness of God.’ (Gen. 5:1) (Breishit Rabbah 24 and Sifra, Kedoshim 2:4).” The Rabbis can also be contacted by regular mail at PO Box 1539, West Tisbury, MA 02575 or by phone at 508-696-1880.
- Peace Apostle by Tom Fasy – Quick hello from a depleted uranium conference in Hiroshima, Japan.
- John Cort, 1913-2006 by Tom Cornell – Obituary of one of the earliest Catholic Workers who started at the Main Street House in 1936. He still cantored in his local parish at the age of 92. Wrote several books and was described as “personally conservative but socially and politically radical, well-read but never pedantic, funny, chivalrous, of broad culture but a man of the people.” Unlike most Catholic Workers, John Cort was not a pacifist, but opposed the Vietnam War using Just War theory.
- Hope in Place of Prison by Bill Griffin – Story of the ministry of Abraham House, “a small community dedicated to supporting prisoners and their families as the make the critical transition out of prison.” To learn more about Abraham House or to offer aid, the address is PO Box 305, Mott Haven Station, Bronx, New York 10454 or call them at 718-292-9321.
- Joe Wells, 1943-2006 by Simeon Swinger – Obituary of the cancer death of a well loved CW. Obituary is mostly about his good nature and how helped many people straighten out their lives. Contrasted worldly success with the success in human living that was Joe Wells.
- Venate Martin, 1925-2006 by Tanya Theriault and Matt Vogel – Obituary of hard-working Haitian immigrant and Catholic Worker. She originally came to the United States without working papers but worked every day of her life. She had a devotion to the Little Flower and touched many people.
As far as I know, the text and woodcut graphics of the Catholic Worker are not available on-line. If you would like the full text of an article that I mention here, I have three suggestions:
1) Try to borrow the article through Interlibrary Loan.
2) Contact the archivist for the CW at Marquette University:
Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Raynor Memorial Libraries
1355 W. Wisconsin Ave, PO Box 3141
Milwaukee, WI 53201-3141
3) Try contacting the Catholic Worker directly. They MAY be willing to send you the article, though I don’t know if they have morgue files. It seems likely they do, since they often reprint Dorothy Day articles. Contact information for Catholic Worker appears in the “subscribe” section below.
Even you if you don’t like what you see here, I encourage you to try a subscription to the Catholic Worker. They will give you a subscription for $0.25/year (If you want to cover the actual costs of a subscription, send them $10). You can hardly do better than a quarter a year!
Send your subscription requests to:
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Even if you think you hate the Catholic Worker movement and all it stands for, subscribe anyway. See what the other side is doing. Also get it for the obituaries. Nowhere else will you find people memorializing the marginalized the way the Catholic Worker celebrates the lives that come through their houses of hospitality. Everyone can learn something about how to see every person’s dignity by perusing these obituaries.