Summary: (DOC #12) States that the purpose of the paper is to articulate the Church's social program and to popularize the Popes' social encyclicals. Comments on the Communist influence in the Unemployed Councils and on Lenin's pamphlet on religion.
For those who are sitting on park benches in the
warm spring sunlight.
For those who are huddling in shelters trying to
escape the rain.
For those who are walking the streets in the all
but futile search for work.
For those who think that there is no hope for the
future, no recognition of their plight - this little paper is
It is printed to call their attention to the fact
that the Catholic Church has a social program - to let them know
that there are men of God who are working not only for their spiritual,
but for their material welfare.
FILLING A NEED
It's time there was a Catholic paper printed for
The fundamental aim of most radical sheets is the
conversion of its readers to radicalism and atheism.
Is it not possible to be radical and not atheist?
Is it not possible to protest, to expose, to complain,
to point out abuses and demand reforms without desiring the overthrow
In an attempt to popularize and make known the encyclicals
of the Popes in regard to social justice and the program put forth
by the Church for the "reconstruction of the social order,"
this news sheet, The Catholic Worker, is started.
It is not as yet known whether it will be a monthly,
a fortnightly or a weekly. It all depends on the funds collected
for the printing and distribution. Those who can subscribe, and
those who can donate, are asked to do so.
This first number of The Catholic Worker was
planned, written and edited in the kitchen of a tenement on Fifteenth
Street, on subway platforms, on the "L," the ferry.
There is no editorial office, no overhead in the way of telephone
or electricity, no salaries paid.
The money for the printing of the first issue was
raised by begging small contributions from friends. A colored
priest in Newark sent us ten dollars and the prayers of his congregation.
A colored sister in New Jersey, garbed also in holy poverty, sent
us a dollar. Another kindly and generous friend sent twenty-five.
The rest of it the editors squeezed out of their own earnings,
and at that they were using money necessary to pay milk bills,
gas bills, electric light bills.
By accepting delay the utilities did not know that
they were furthering the cause of social justice. They were, for
the time being, unwitting cooperators.
Next month someone may donate us an office. Who knows?
It is cheering to remember that Jesus Christ wandered
this earth with no place to lay His head. The foxes have holes
and the birds of the air their nests, but the Son of Man has no
place to lay His head. And when we consider our fly-by-night
existence, our uncertainty, we remember (with pride at sharing
the honor), that the disciples supped by the seashore and wandered
through corn fields picking the ears from the stalks wherewith
to make their frugal meals.
This text is not copyrighted. However, if you use or cite this text please indicate the original publication source and this website (Dorothy Day Library on the Web at http://www.catholicworker.org/dorothyday/).
Day, Dorothy. "To Our Readers".
The Catholic Worker, May 1933, 4 (First Issue)
The Catholic Worker Movement.