Tales from each stop of a long journey from New York through Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Tulsa to Amarillo, Texas. Tells of many efforts at the works of mercy, learning to make rosaries, lectures, liturgies, and enduring suffering.
Juxtaposes images of resignation, poverty, and fear over the H-bomb tests with hopeful words from Julian of Norwich and the Mass of the dead. Says we should not fear death but judgement, and live accordingly.
Shares her conversations with old friends in California on charity, social justice, and Jubilee. Visits priests and bishops in California and Ammon Hennacy in Phoenix. Keywords: Jew, prayer
Describes the conditions of striking coal miners who defy both the employers and their own unions. Affirms the need for human dignity in daily work that neither the communists nor the unions nor the employers are providing. Decries the dishonest expropriation of natuual resources. Begs assistance for the striking miners.
Reviews several books on voluntary poverty, especially Poverty by Fr. Regamey. Elaborates on the joy of, objections to, and purpose of voluntary poverty. Rejects capitalist and communist solutions to real poverty, pointing to decentralization and distributism as the answer.
An invitation to reflect on the value of going to jail as a conscientious objector, for freedom's sake. Comments on two books about jail and her prison experiences. Relates the indignity of being in jail to the folly of the cross.
Contends that bigness, such as government, cities, institutions, etc., escapes personal responsibilities. One becomes lost in its array and thus is not responsible for his actions. Toys with the idea of incorporating the C.W., but prefers a decentralized organization. Comments on the power of the novena.
Appeals for financial help to acquire a new house of hospitality. Describes in detail her experience of fasting for peace and reflects on the meaning of fasting, quoting Gandhi.
Recalls Peter Maurin's revolutionary vision and program for the Catholic Worker on the anniversary of his death.
Describes the poor they serve and a nearby dilapidated tenement they could acquire for hospitality but which needs extensive repairs.
Describes the work, inconvenience, and grateful anticipation of their move to a new house on Christie Street. Includes an account of an all-night pilgrimage to the shrine of our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
An obituary for a gentle Catholic Worker--Charles O'Rourke. She notes his persistent work habits, generosity, attentiveness to all, non-partisan demeanor, and praises him as a gentleman.
Notes they have differences of opinion about pacifism and the use of force. Observes that Gandhi said "anger is violence." Speaks fondly of their Mott Street neighbors just before their move to new quarters. Struggles with the decision to acquire a farm on Staten Island and shares a meditation on "the everlasting arms which sustain us" while riding the ferry back to the city.
Meditation on the myriad forms of community--in her writing, their neighborhood, parish, the siants, guests, and in the many nationalities they encounter. Quotes from Martin Buber and notes the difficulties in all human associations.
Describes the mission of the new Peter Maurin farm on Staten Island, starting and ending with thanks to God and to the readers for making it possible. Expresses hope in the new bakery venture. Speaks of needing to forgo a trip to Rome because she cannot sign the oath of allegiance for the passport. Justifies voluntary poverty and how it makes Houses of Hospitality possible. Notes their work is a vocation and says "all must perform the works of mercy."
A Christmas-time reflection on the state of the world torn by the Korean war and poverty in the midst of plenty in the United States. Points to the Gospel message of peace, love of enemies, and love of one another--"It is the only word for Christmas when love came down to the mire, to teach us that love." Keywords: pacifism, conscientious objection
Glowing appreciation of a pamphlet about spiritual forces overcoming the forces of evil in the world.
Defends "the little way" and individual acts of service and martyrdom against critics who charge the CW with defeatism.
Ruminates in mid-winter on happiness and beauty, and "the duty of delight." Repeats Peter Maurin's maxim, "We must make the kind of society where it is easier for people to be good."
Describes the bucolic scene at Peter Maurin Farm as she begins to write her column. Relishes their joy and reminds us of the sorrowful aspects of life, for example, drunkenness. Talks of how hard it is to serve the poor and keep at the mundane drudgery--"the mystery of sin and suffering."
Appreciates holy fools in literature and among workers for peace and justice. Against the backdrop of the execution of the Martinsburg Seven, she lauds the protest work for racial justice by Communists. Repeats the need to love our enemies, including those who deny God.
When her son-in-law loses his job she ruminates on the plight of the wage earner and conditions of labor, especially in the clothing mills and among farm workers. Recounts stories of grueling labor conditions and inveighs against "our present finance capitalistic system." She is appealing "to our capacity to love and the reformation of our lives…"
Writes of visits to hospitals and conscientious objectors suffering in prison. Recalls "that to love means to suffer, and who would be without love."
Affirms that all men are brothers--a view shared by Communists and Christians alike. Disavows violent means of change and cites Peter Maurin's pacifism. Love requires suffering and the Cross is the path to joy and life.
Describes visiting the Tombs prison, the waiting, noise, anger. Berates herself for getting angry at guests who are a trial. Asks how to blend charity and the common good. Finally says "the secret is to take what comes."
Homey account of the birth of her daughter Tamar's fifth child while at Peter Maurin Farm on Staten Island. Speaks of her writing as "an overflow of work, a flowering of work:"--the work of bread baking, cooking, cleaning, and dish washing.
An account of the trip by a dilapidated car to Maryfarm, Newburgh, and the spiritual renewal of a subsequent four-day retreat. Rallies to the cause of Ruth Reynolds, on trial in Puerto Rico for sedition. Reflects on the death of William Randolph Hearst, whose newspapers she disdained.
Extols traveling by bus and recalls the many trips she and Peter Maurin made to spread the Catholic Worker philosophy. Travels through New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio visiting Catholic Worker farms, houses of hospitality, and family groups, highlighting their work, struggles, and joys.
Juxtaposes examples of destitution and need with instances of prayers answered in this appeal for funds. Prays to the Little Flower to help them make an oasis where love dwells.
In the midst of reporting on a twenty-seven city speaking trip she laments that the state too often replaces personal responsibility for the poor. Repeats that the fundamental idea of the Catholic Worker is that we are made to love God and our brothers--the works of mercy practiced by each of us "at a personal sacrifice."
She goes to Canada for the funeral of Fr. Lacourtre then visits shrines, and numerous craft schools. Praises the "many beginnings" of the personalist and communitarian revolution.
A loving tribute to Fr. Lacouture. Outlines his priestly assignments but highlights his famous "retreat" that emphasized man's dignity, the doctrine of the cross, and the call to saintliness. Says the retreat gave thousands great joy in the spiritual life. Notes the controversy that stopped the retreat, but also says, "He made all things new."
In the midst of interruptions she writes of ill guests, how hard it is to only help by listening, gratitude for gifts, and the gently effects of hospitality.
Updates readers about recent events in her daughter's family. Decries the disbanding of a multi-national and interracial fraternal association because of its Communist connections. Says they oppose "atheistic communism," not economic communism based on mutual aid.
Eight excerpts from The Long Loneliness around the themes of community and work as envisioned by Peter Maurin:
· The meaning of liturgy in revolutionary times
· Peter Maurin's vision of community in farming communes
· A community of families as a lay form of religious life
· Mutual aid and giving to increase love
· Peter's emphasis on work over wages and ownership
· Importance of a philosophy of work based on being made in the image and likeness of God
· Self-sufficiency in food
· The difficulty of restoring community on the land
A difficult eulogy for Maurice O'Connell who lived at the Easton farm for over 10 years. Notes his helpful side as a worker and his cantankerous nature that tried the patience of nearly everyone in the community. Reflects on the interplay of supernatural love and human freedom.
Explains how illnesses in her family kept her from a planned speaking trip. Describes a walk with a friend through push-cart lined streets in the neighborhood.
Celebrates the feast of the Annunciation with frolicking grand children, kissing the springtime earth. Complains of fatigue and morning stiffness. Laments her inefficiency but recommends relaxing prayer, even in the midst of the disorder of happy children.
Lukewarm review of a book on Christian unity. Defends the author's critique of Catholics but wishes he was better versed on ecumenical efforts, including ones she is involved in.
An appeal asking for contributions for mounting bills. Describes their coffee and soup lines, and says there should be hospices in every parish, and "where in faith one sees Christ in the old, crippled, the mentally and physically destitute.
Points to the Little Way of St. Therese of Lisieux as the way to respond to the suffering and tragedy around us. Ties Therese's desire to increase love in the world with acts of protest, picketing, speaking out - the importance of even one person's actions and collaborating with others who affirm life.
An essay on the mystery and complexity of poverty, real and voluntary kinds. Enumerates the many forms of poverty, the irony of "poverty" in "rich" religious orders, and finally poverty as a means of helping the poor.
Travels to a Trappist monastery for Holy Week and notes her speaking engagements. Recommends a journal on Christian art and lauds all personal efforts at creative expression.
Asserts that action for social and racial justice must flow from reverence for those in need and the precept of love. Says ". If we are afraid, we must pray not to be afraid, to be fools for Christ."
On the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary she appreciates the work of mothers and the practice of the presence of God in the smallest acts. Describes Tamar's family and their house where she is caring for the grandchildren while Tamar and David have a vacation. Describes life with the children and lauds "manual labor as part of a penitential aw well as creative life."
Shares her notes from the annual retreat at Maryfarm and the importance of developing the spiritual life, which is as important as the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
An obituary of Theresa Weider who started the catholic worker in Rochester, New York. Describes her practice of the works of mercy and the encouragement she gave--one of the "little saints" St. Therese promised.
Several stories: unfair labor practices, a birthday party of a granddaughter, the public relations charade of organized labor, and a story of Peter Maurin's belief in labor as an "exchange of goods", not work for wages.
A detailed account of a visit to the Blessed Martin House of Hospitality in Memphis where Helen Caldwell Day cares for the children of women cotton pickers. The problems of poverty. Urges use of spiritual weapons--poverty, precarity, self-denial, suffering. Says that only love can overcome the evil in the world.
An appeal for funds. Lauds begging and says what is given is given to Christ who is sometimes hard to see in the destitute. Says all are poor in some way.
Describes the struggle in establishing farming communes as Peter Maurin taught. Poverty, toil, and suffering are bore by the young families trying to live on the land. She writes to comfort these fellow workers who live day by day.
An account of the conversion of Ammon Hennacy. Profiles his anarchist and pacifist beliefs, sensitivity to oppression, effect on people, and journey to Baptism.
Discusses the Californian migrant workers exploitation by large corporations. Describes the condition of the migrant worker and those people who are trying to better it. Condemns the large landowners for denying the migrant worker property that makes him responsible and free.
Begins her report of a cross-country speaking and visiting trip by criticizing the Church for expensive building projects in the midst of inferior housing for the poor. Highlights some of the people and projects to help the poor. Visits Ammon Hennacy in Phoenix. Describes herself as a pilgrim.
Links a life of poverty (not destitution) and prayer as exemplified by Carroll McCool at St. Colette house in Oakland, CA. Quotes him at length on the life of prayer.
Relishes the antics of her grandchildren and the signs of early Spring at Peter Maurin farm. "Even the senses rejoice in the beauty of God."
Has high praise for a pamphlet by artist Fritz Eichenberg. Includes quotes on the misuse of art in advertising, the beauty of creative acts, and the role of the artist in society.
Reflects on the struggle to achieve voluntary poverty in small steps and for a lifetime. Notes that even honorable work involves taxes used for war. Condemns advertising for increasing desires often leading people to poverty.
Appeals for all to do or give a little knowing that God will do the rest. Says since we are all brothers we must be subject to every living creature to be like Him, serving rather than being served.
Reflects on Holy Week and the themes of suffering, joy, and gratitude. Talks of spinning wool.
Admits that it is a struggle to reconcile personal goals and life in community, especially on the land. Says there are many ways to get away from the city. Keywords: farming communes
Summarizes Peter Maurin's worldview and discusses his new social order and how his life embodied his ideas. Reveals the sources of his thought such as Proudhon, Kropotkin, Guardini and Karl Adam.
Obituary for Jack Simms who died as the result of a fire. Describes his helpful nature and the tragic circumstances of his life.
Societal structures need to be built so that it will be "easy to be good." Advocates the four-hour work day in order that workers become scholars and Scholars workers. Speaks of Vinoba Bhave, whose personalist views enabled people to solve their own problems, by promoting "the little way."
A brief obituary remembering the author Hilaire Belloc, his visit to the Catholic Worker, his "great zest and joy in life," and his books on property and the state. Calls him "an apostle to this world."
Discusses the difficulty of self-supporting and how voluntary poverty and manual labor are the means of the C.W. to achieve justice. Remarks that personal responsibility alleviates destitution but gives "plenty of holy poverty."
An empathic reflection on the last hours before the execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg who were convicted of spying for Russia. Weaves images of children, fear of death, praying the psalms, and the duplicity of prelates who bless US warmaking. Says we must pray for mercy and have no part with the vindictive state.
Proposes a new attitude toward labor, which needs to be achieved through the educational system. Draws from Pius XII and Peter Maurin to articulate a mysticism of labor that promotes a wholeness of cult, culture and cultivation. This attitude advocates one to work for what one needs, not what one wants, so one can work for others in need.
Cares for her daughter's children after Tamar has her sixth child. Quotes from various letters she is answering. Tells of a conference on pacifism and notes that many don't agree with the Catholic Worker position.
Recommends a new edition of the St. Andrew Daily Missal saying it is a "veritable encyclopedia for the layman." Keywords: liturgy
Meditation on dying and praying for the dead. Enumerates the many people on a list kept in her missal. Recalls that Fr. Zachery, her confessor, taught her that "There is no time with God."
Says they are servants of those who send help for the work of hospitality. Notes their continuance is a miracle and that their purpose is to show the providence of God.
Details life at Peter Maurin Farm--nearby brush fires, visitors, discussions, neighbors--"It is not a Utopia."
Ill and ordered to rest she reflects on sickness, life, and death. Tales of life at Peter Maurin farm--the gift of 45 chickens, a blizzard, and smog.
Summarizes The Way of a Pilgrim and the Jesus prayer. Quotes the book and recommends it as a spiritual classic. Underscores its application in daily living.
Stories of life at Peter Maurin Farm--children's talk of God, her reading, a family needing hospitality, the gift of a cow, a visit from the FBI, and the need for activists to pray.
A new year's reflection on the ways they have failed Peter Maurin's vision. Concludes "About all the above failures, I must say that I am not much concerned. I think that such failures are inseparable to a work of this kind, and necessary for our growth in holiness." Stresses trying to put ideas into action, more clarification of thought, continuing this "tiny work."
Explains what anarchism and pacifism mean against the backdrop of the modern state. Reaffirms the principles of subsidiarity, freedom and personal responsibility, and the membership of all in the body of Christ.
While convalescing she quotes the recently ill Pope on illness and suffering. Tells of being cared for, the life of the house, and the inadequate housing of Tamar's family.
Discusses the differences and similarities of the Worker Priests and the Little Brothers. Explains the Church's condemnation of some worker-priests who advocated a close a association between Marxism and Catholicism, but is distraught at the Church's inconsistency in not condemning those priests who are closely linked to capitalism. Sees the present day scandal of the Church as an imbalance between spiritual and material works.
Describes life at Maryfarm during Winter: guests, visitors, gifts of a statue of the Blessed Mother and a phonograph, and pies, furniture repair and refurbishing. Mentions books read as spiritual reading during silent meals.
Digest of news stories of organized underground efforts by political prisoners in Russia culminating in a strike by miners. Focuses on the role of faith in this non-violent struggle.
A tender remembrance of poet Max Bodenheim and his wife Ruth who were murdered. Recounts the many times her and Max's paths crossed, his tormented and difficult life of poverty, and Max and Ruth's coming for hospitality to the Catholic Worker. Comments on Ruth's flirtations and unseemly newspaper accounts of their life.
Passionate condemnation of the hydrogen bomb tests and industrial preparation of nerve gas for war. Upholds the supremacy of conscience and challenges each person to resist as they are able. Quotes spiritual writers in an effort to strengthen her faith and reduce fear.
Overflowing with the destitute and broke, she implores St. Joseph to move readers to help. Praises the work with the poor of The Little Brothers of Jesus.
Experiences God's tenderness in the springtime beauty flooding her senses. Appreciates the improvements at the farm wrought by diligent manual labor and tape recorded retreat conferences by Fr. Hugo.
Traces the French involvement in Vietnam through the lives of the 19th century missionary Venard and the political leader Ho Chi Minh. Admits it is hard to clearly see complex historical issues where faith, persecution, power, and economics intermingle. Keywords: war
Paints a picture of Catholic Worker community life--the house, work, prayer, needs, and volunteers. Lists the summer programs for Peter Maurin Farm and Maryfarm. Describes her Holy Week observance.
Expresses her love of the Church, priests, and the sacraments against the backdrop of remembering Peter Maurin's death while going to a solemn Mass. Remembers Peter's habit of daily Mass and Communion.
Describes the progress in getting Peter Maurin farm on Staten Island up and running--building, planting, neighborly help, and summer camps for children from Harlem. Extols Christian Communism of the family on the land.
Reflects on her and other's personal interests that flower into beauty and works of mercy, as well as renewing us. Summarizes the content of a recent retreat and the notes the importance of silence.
Chronicles the comings and goings of visitors and workers. Notes the crafts they practice and some of the trials that ensue. Ammon Hennacy begins another fast protesting atomic weapons. Keywords: retreat, fasting
Recoils at the senseless murders of "bums" by four youths on August 16, 1954, in Brooklyn. Links this violence to the hate and fear of the McCarthy anti-communist hearings in Washington and the violence of weapons of mass destruction. Keywords: non-violence
A testament of Vito Marcantonio's political work with the poor. Seen as a Communist sympathizer, he is denied a Church burial. She says he lived Matthew 25 and did the works of mercy. Keywords: obituary
Retells the indignity and jailing that an interracial group endured in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Comments on a potpourri of events--Halloween costumes of the saints, hurricane Carol, pacifist conference, and irritations while saying the community rosary.
Criticizes those Catholics who affirmed the Industrial Council Plan that supported co-management. Calls for co-ownership as the only means to alleviate the injustice caused by industry and quotes "Observatore Romano" on its condemnation of capitalism. Also criticizes those who call the Industrial Council Plan the Pope's plan, and repudiates the claim by quoting Pius XII's 1952 Christmas message which calls for an agriculture economy.
Tender obituary of Fr. Pacifique Roy telling of his long involvement with the Catholic Worker--his love of work, reverent way he said Mass, joy in feasting, and how he introduced the workers to the famous "retreat" which "made us feel the power of love." Writes of his illness and death in his native Quebec.
Highlights from letters from those connected to the Catholic Worker community. She extols their hard work and struggles.
Appeals for help to continue the works of mercy at the Catholic Worker houses and farms which is a reflection of God's love for us. Says the ideal is that every parish have a mutual aid center.
Recommends many books: novels, history, about saints, social teachings of the Church. Singles out a book for teaching children about God and one about Martin de Porres.
Diary-like account of talks and visits to friends in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Chicago, and Milwaukee. Relishes reporting on the apostolates of lay and clergy alike. Notes her attraction to the Abbey of St. Procopius.
Exhorts us to learn to see the poor in our midst alongside our comfortable and prosperous lives, especially the migrant and racially discriminated against. Calls for a balanced social order based on distributist principles of ownership. Quotes Pope Pius XII on our personal responsibility to aid the poor. Keywords: voluntary poverty, distributism
Visits friends and workers throughout the Midwest noting how each lives out the practice of the works of mercy and "Catholic activities." Suggests that if we don't face social issues as they come up we will gradually lose out freedom, "this great gift of God."
On a long winter trip through Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana she tells of efforts for the common good of many people and parishes. Comments on the plight of Mexicans and Indians. Keywords: community, liturgy, personal responsibility
Deplores the destitution brought on by the present social order of capitalist industrialism, describing their soup line. In contrast, lauds the self-sufficient life of Hutterite communities. Supports organic gardening. Concludes the solution to physical destitution is through spiritual means: "We are en-route, on pilgrimage, and our job is to trust, to hope and to pray, and also to work 'to make that kind of a social order when it is easier for man to be good.'"
Asks for help, reminding us that we get what we need since "God is not to be outdone in generosity." Notes their Lenten fasting and the results they can expect.
Describes the deportation to Spain of Francisco Fernandez from a Federal prison. Lauds his dedication to human freedom, protest against the state, and decries all totalitarian regimes.
The tale of Felicia, a young Puerto Rican woman struggling to survive in the city living in a tenement with her husband and three children. Discovers they are being exploited to over pay for furniture which is already nearly worn out. Decries the exploitation of the poor, especially by other poor people. Concludes by pointing out the beauty of the spring and says "..God is not mocked."
Fr. Daniel Lord, who recently died, is remembered for his work with youth in the fields of Catholic Action and contentious objection. Describes her time at the farm attending conferences and caring for her grandchildren. Ruminates about human freedom in relation to involuntary poverty. Keyword: pacifism
Outlines P. Maurin's program for social reordering. Calls for a Green Revolution, a return to the villages. Finds his whole message embodied in personalism, which begins with oneself. Blames the C.W.'s problems in its lack of ability to limit itself.
Discusses the problems with the selling of Maryfarm, the difficulties of construction at Peter Maurin Farm and extends an appeal for assistance. Recounts her trip to Montreal, Canada and her encounters with the various communities and people who live with the poor there. She concludes with a reflection on the values of work and silence.
Quotes David Hennacy's distributist ideas--the need for the worker to acquire property, usury, industrialism's faults, and suggested books to read. Keyword: distributism
Appeals to readers for money to assist children from East Harlem to spend a summer at the beach.
News from St. Joseph's House--a summons from "Holy Mother, the City" for housing code violations, visiting Asian priests, a new subway nearby. Expresses wonder at what can be achieved materially, if not spiritually.
A graphic description of how she and 29 others were treated by the police, jailers, and courts after arrest for protesting air raid drills against nuclear attack. Gives a reason for the protest and decries the inhuman aspects of their treatment--crowding, lack of food, waiting. Notes: "What a neglected work of mercy, visiting the prisoner."
An account of moving everything from Maryfarm in Newburgh to Peter Maurin Farm on Staten Island and the birth of Tamar's seventh child, Martha.
Visits and visitors fill her days and conferences and talks fill many evenings. Praises Ammon Hennacy's annual fast and picketing for America's dropping of the atom bomb. Says handicrafts provide relaxation and create beauty--"the rhythm of life which overflows in work of hand and brain."
Chronicles life at St. Joseph's House: repairs, grocery bills for "the line", managing subscriptions, endless mail and visitors. Asks St. Joseph to "impel" readers to help pay the grocery bills.
Anticipates the ordeal of her and others' appearance in court for disobeying the Civil Defense Act. They plead guilty. Visits migrant workers in southern Minnesota and describes their hard life. Praises the work of women for donations to the stricken of the world. Lauds the factory work in Chicago of the Little Sisters of Charles de Foucauld.
Anecdotes that focus on money, poverty, freedom, encounters with courts, accusations by the city, troublesome guests, and taxes.
An appeal for financial help and a restatement of the Catholic Worker belief in personal responsibility for the poor over State responsibility.
An appreciation of community life in a Bruderhof of 175 people. Describes the division of labor, the "rich poverty" with artists, musicians, and worship. Recalling Peter Maurin's vision of farming communes she wishes for more such Catholic communities.
Reasserts the ideal and hope of forming communes and farming communities. Tales of Tamar's mischievous children and the value of reading scripture.
Reviews the past year in terms of vocations, marriages and births, including Tamar's sixth child. Details Christmas celebrations and notes "the duty of delight." Remembers those who have died. Repeats the necessity to work for peace and disarmament "in season and out of season."
Quotes David Hennacy's distributist ideas--the need for the worker to acquire property, usury, industrialism's faults, and suggested books to read. Keyword: distributism
Enumerates all the things people send, especially clothes, that are rapidly distributed. Laments that "Holy Mother the State" requires them to submit an accounting since they make appeals. Notes the need to keep voluntary poverty in mind and thanks all who send anonymous gifts.
Relishes attending plays by Chekov and comments on the need to develop ones talents to combat a sense of futility in this age. Says to be a personalist is to be communitarian and writes vignettes of some of those around her. Notes the need to grow in the spiritual life. Keyword: work
Criticizes a raid on the communist paper, The Daily Worker, as a blow against freedom guaranteed by the constitution. Says it is a sin to keep silent and that "freedom in general is essentially a religious concept."
Tells the story of their travails with the city courts after being fined for operating "a fire trap." Reaffirms personal responsibility as the way to care for the poor, decrying "Holy Mother the State's" taking over such care.
Attends a conference on establishing Christian communities, especially of families on the land. Admits that Catholic Worker attempts have not been successful because the "vision of community is not yet clear" and the spiritual foundation has not been laid. Recommends Edmond Wilson's book To The Finland Station on communities.
Expresses deep gratitude for Peter Maurin's vision and life. Intermingles appreciations of Peter and St. Joseph's gifts to the works of the CW.
Responds to a newspaper article about herself and the Catholic Worker movement. Disagrees with elements of the articles, in particular the description of those who are served and the workers as "derelicts." Urges an understanding of the poor that embraces Christ's message. Discusses Orwell's and Tolstoi's views of the poor. Describes the rich life of those who participate in the Catholic Worker movement and contrasts elements of the Worker program to that found in city missions.
Review of a book on hand weaving. Discusses spinning and weaving engaged in by herself, her daughter Tamar and friends. Says using our hands is a way to discover the sacramentality of things.
Meditation on the struggle between heaven and earth, between God and man, and between worship and action. Juxtaposes images of an atomic bomb test, the mentally ill, the Mass and worship, and quotes from writers. Argues for decentralization of government services, most especially for the decentralization of mental hospitals, and personal responsibility over state aid. Explains how all must atone for sin through suffering.
Reflects on a variety of items--the gift of a statue of Mary, expensive house repairs, appeal to help Puerto Rican children, the crafts of bookbinding and spinning, encouraging children to explore nature, and the plight of the mentally ill.
Describes her and 18 others' arrest and court appearances for civil disobedience after demonstrating and not taking shelter in an air raid drill. Speaks of the courage and suffering needed in battle and in using spiritual weapons. Going to jail is one way of visiting the prisoner.
Discusses the tendency to rewrite history to suit our present purposes with examples about Stalin and union organizing. "Who tells the truth nowadays?" Links finding truth to taking time to be quiet, alone, and getting enough sleep.
Reaffirms the distributist economic vision of property and work against critics while acknowledging "It needs to be constantly rewritten, re-assessed, restated…" Comments on Chesterton and Dickens in relation to renewing distributism.
Admires new pictorial lives of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Ignatius giving a brief biography of each saint noting their work and radical conversions.
Graphic description of a visit to a prisoner on death row and other stories of terrible deaths in their neighborhood. Asks "Where to lay the blame?" Lashes out against "this rotten, decadent, putrid industrial capitalist system" calling for building up all forms of mutual aid.
Describes minor trials with the housing department. Admires the work of religious communities and other groups on a trip that included days of recollection, time with her grandchildren, speaking engagements, and conferences.
Reminds readers that love is an exchange of gifts and that helping the poor reveals God and leads to a better social order. Speaks of the continuing struggle to remove segregation.
Tales of three guests--a reconciled death, a desperate mother, and a hijacked worker.
Depicts the plight of black sharecroppers in Mississippi--efforts to drive them off the land, economic injustice, intimidation, and lack of ownership. Tells of efforts to speak out and organize. Before arriving in the deep south she visits Catholic Workers in Memphis. Keywords: segregation
Reports on the many religious serving poor Negroes in Mississippi in schools, parishes, and aid associations. Stories of segregation and small victories for equal rights. Keywords: African-American, colored, blacks, civil rights
Meditates on suffering and nonviolence in light of fighting in Hungary. Harshly criticizes clergy who do not prepare the laity to use spiritual weapons. Doubts the criteria of the just war theory can be met. Desires to grow in love so as to understand the mystery of suffering and forgiveness.
Describes her stay in prison after protesting air raid drills and notes it was comfortable. Decries the many women there because of drug charges. Mourns the sudden death of Paulina Sturm and writes appreciative obituary of her involvements with the Catholic Worker and work for justice.
A detailed account of her attendance as an observer at the Communist Party Convention. She identifies with their ends--a just social order--but not their means or beliefs (violence and atheism). Prods Catholics to "hard study" of those working for peace and justice, learning with her "of incorporating social thinking into the works of mercy." Keywords: prison
A collection of stories: her daughter Tamar's search for a new farm, the gift of looms, a book by Eric Fromm on community, labor and civil rights picketing, her profession as a Benedictine oblate, and the injustice of Morton Sobell's trial for espionage with the Rosenbergs.
Begs for help as they are about to begin their 25th year of serving the poor. Compares the Catholic Workers to the desert fathers in their humility, gentleness, and the way their actions show a standard of values that turn the world upside down.
An anniversary remembrance of the Catholic Worker's origins and how war and labor issues continue in the present. Recalls Peter Maurin's opposition to the modern State, his emphasis on the principle of subsidiarity, clarification of thought, and the common good.
Witnesses the ugly harassment of the inter-racial farming community, Koinonia, during an extended visit. She shares in the daily work and is shot at while standing watch late at night. Says integration will move forward as others take up similar work. Keywords: civil rights, blacks, African-Americans, segregation
Describes the Catholic Worker as "an inn by the side of the road" and explains the attraction it has for people who want to do the works of mercy. Also talks about visitors, diminished interest in May Day rallies, groups for the mentally ill, and a delightful week of caring for her grandchildren.
Promotes non-violent resistance to atomic bomb testing and all preparations for war. Defends the Catholic Worker's civil disobedience actions in refusing to participate in civil defense drills. Says all Americans need to atone for Hiroshima and Nagasaki as she anticipates being jailed again for her protest.
Serving a month-long sentence for protesting civil defense drills her letters describe conditions in jail. Says there protest was a refusal to participate in psychological warfare and a way of showing responsibility for the common good.
In jail for civil disobedience she describes in graphic detail the experience of detention--noise, animality, despair, mistreatment, "the ugliness of it all". She has particular sympathy for the drug addicts and prostitutes. Sees her stay as visiting the prisoner and an opportunity to tell the story of those in jail. Points to the need for faith in small actions and for prayer.
Notes visitors from South Africa and her jailing for civil disobedience. Graphic account of her grandchildren at play and "the causalities of life with children. Ah me!"
Responds to criticism of their refusal to participate in air raid drills. Says they are rejecting the authority of the State to compel men to war. Says "Self-suffering, non-resistance to evil, is an alternative offered by the pacifist to the government, . . ." Keywords: civil disobedience, pacifism
An account of moving her daughter Tamar's family from Staten Island to a spacious home and farm in Vermont.
Lists various answers to the question "What does the Catholic Worker mean?" Says we all need to begin with ourselves in learning to give of ourselves. Keywords: poverty, family, pacifism, anarchism
Attends a conference of experts who ponder the meaning of altruistic love and isn't impressed with their rationality and science. Visits families living on the land and points to the need for community for them to survive. Shares in celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Detroit Catholic Worker houses.
A tender obituary of Catherine Odlivak, a Catholic Worker for many years. She is remembered as someone "unspotted by the world," a woman of prayer, gentle, someone conscious of God's presence. Keywords: retreat
Account of a trip through Chicago, Minnesota, and onto Montreal. Comments on the interest of students in pacifism, singing psalms in English, riding the bus, and prayer--"A fundamental study."
An account of a pilgrimage to Mexico to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe with a group from Minnesota. Highlights the faith of the Mexican people in spite of a history of church persecution.
On a sleepless stormy night, she shares her worry over their coming eviction from Christie Street. Tells the story of Lawrence Blum whom she visited in Mexico, how he found his vocation on a pilgrimage in Mexico, and his work as an example of a family man living a life of sanctity in the world. Keywords: Church
Describes the problem of unwanted children, those kicked out of the school system, and neighborhood efforts to start a special school. Sees one cause of the problem in greed, as many mothers and families increasingly have to work more and more to stay ahead, neglecting children in the process. Keywords: voluntary poverty
Refutes the rumor they are closing the house of hospitality. Describes their search for a new house and difficulties with the city housing codes. Decries the violence of children after witnessing an incident in a nearby Church.
Appeals for money, telling how they often pay poor peoples rent. Mentions the saints of the week and reminds us we are called to be saints--"to be a lover, ready to leave all, to give all." We progress on this path by beginning over again each day.
In the inaugural issue of the paper, she states the purpose of The Catholic Worker: to popularize the Catholic Church's program for constructing the social order. Challenges atheistic radicalism asking, "Is it not possible to be radical without being atheistic?" Notes their poverty and asks for contributions.
Celebrates the 25th anniversary of the C.W. Perceives freedom as the greatest gift to man from God, and advocates a four hour work day, child labor, private property as personal property and manual labor. Personalism works from the bottom up and reminds her readers that Jesus told people, not states, to perform works of mercy.
Detailed description of her daughter Tamar's home in Vermont and the Hennessey family's life. Mentions the 25th anniversary celebration of the Catholic Worker and all the "old timers" who came. Lauds Ammon Hennacy's penitential fast for out nations dropping the first atomic bomb.
Three obituaries--Thelma, a drug addict she met in jail, and of two Catholic Workers, Betty and Jim. Recounts how she held out a hopeful vision of God's love to Thelma before she died of an overdose. Remembers rubbing Betty's back as she lay dying in the hospital.
Delights in the refreshing mornings for study and prayer at their beach houses on Staten Island, in spite of noisy children in the evening. Observes that many priests disapprove of Ammon Henacy's long fasts for peace. Suggests that the modest an prudent keep their work going more than the extremists they often attract.
Decries the city's eviction order and describes their futile search for a new house of hospitality. Tells of two weddings and four deaths during the month.
Comments on a new translation of St. Therese's autobiography and the controversy over certain passages. Shays she has had a "constant reading about and thinking about Therese these last ten years."
Expresses dismay at their difficulty in finding a new house of hospitality and is upset at the process of urban destruction instead of restoration. But says their uncertainty is that of all poor people. Mentions visitors and books to read.
Begs for help "with this wild adventure of the works of mercy." Protests the state's appropriation of private property and its "ownership of the indigent."
A homey atmosphere prevails on a rainy Sunday although they are about to be evicted with no replacement house in sight. Mulls over reports of increased use of processed food and scavenging food on Staten Island.
Culling newspaper accounts of the newly elected Pope, John XXIII, she describes him as a man who loves the soil and family. Includes quotes from his first public address on love of the poor and condemnation of preparing for war. Explains what it means to struggle for justice and to do so "even if by force," a phrase the Pope used.
A month of travelling and giving talks in Massachusetts, New York, and Indiana. Visits Tamar and the grand children in Vermont. Discusses farming communes and complains about the encroaching State. Admires the Shakers and Hutterites and advocates a personalist and communitarian society.
Argues from the principle of subsidiarity that to replace personal responsibility with the state's is a grave injustice. Criticizes the state's inefficiency in alleviating suffering; in its guest to regulate justice it causes more injustice. Associates a close bond between poverty and love and blames industrialism for the increasing practice of carting the aged off to institutions.
Tells of a failed cooperative apartment effort. Describes the mess of moving to a new house, the dust of demolition next door, the temporary stop of the bread line, and the cost of flop housing.
Reports on her trip to Georgia for the first Mass of Jack English, now Fr. Charles, in the Trappists. Chronicles his life with the Catholic Worker, war years, and vocation. Then travels to Florida and reflects on the harsh conditions of migrant labor. Keyword: anarchism
Struggles with "the dumps", finding new quarters and car troubles oin her way to Vermont to visit Tamar and her family. Graphic description of life at their farm. Ponders how to promote religious expression in a busy family.
Vivid description of being transported in vans to court after arrest for civil disobedience. Deplores the conditions at the women's house of detention. Notes similar conditions for migrant workers. Delights in visitors, guests and her reading. Keywords: jail, prison
Tells of their efforts to help the poor as best they can without a house of their own saying it reveals their faults. Recalls how their breadlines started in 1936. "We live in no ivory tower."
Recounts the life and vocation of Charles de Foucauld who inspired the foundation of the Little Brothers and Little Sisters of Jesus. She is especially attracted to their living with the poor in poverty and their devotion to manual labor.
Meandering account of the past month--the beauty of nature, visitors, and conferences. Highlights Ammon Hennacy's fasting in repentance for Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Meditates on how the poor are treated by people in bureaucracies and on the core of voluntary poverty.
Reminisces about her love of cars, describing all the old cars and trucks that have been a part of her and Catholic Worker life. Then explains why they are getting rid of their two cars at Peter Maurin farm.
After visiting her daughter Tamar in Vermont to help with sick grandchildren, she visits a nearby Carthusian monastery. Mentions a pamphlet on the Eastern churches and urges us to pray for peace between the churches if we want world peace.
Decries the religious attitude that neglects the needs of this world in anticipation of "a fuller life" hereafter. Views this life as a "practice ground," an opportunity to use our talents to bring about justice and peace. Cites Ammon Hennacy and Peter Maurin as men who showed personal responsibility in this life. Everyone has the choice to bring about a better world aware that we are members of one family. We will be satisfied at death in God's rich mercy.
Tells of George Clements whose skeleton was found in the woods near Peter Maurin Farm. Paints a picture of the natural surroundings at the beach house. Describes the men's house in the city, wishing they had yellow paint for the walls. Answers critics who say they have a "morbid preoccupation with misery."