The Catholic Worker Movement

On Peter Maurin

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1943 February

"Day After Day" (DDLW #148)
Discusses the two major subjects of her speaking engagements, Peter Maurin, whom she describes as founder and mind of the C.W., and personalism, which she describes as communitarian, and the philosophy of both P. Maurin and the C.W.. Describes some of the difficulties in living the CW vocation and running farming communes. Recommends reading the Desert Fathers and Aldous Huxley's Grey Eminence to understand personalism and communitarianism.

1945 February

"Background for Peter Maurin" (DDLW #151)
A chapter from her unpublished book "Peter Maurin." Comments on P. Maurin's thoughts on capitalism and socialism and the idea that Papal Encyclicals try to make an "acquisitive society functional."

1945 September

"Peter the Materialist" (DDLW #152)
Another chapter from her unpublished biography of P. Maurin. Describes St. Francis as the great personalist and goes on to explicate a philosophy of work. Sees it as a gift, a vocation that one should find what he/she does best and develop it. Encourages scholars to become workers and workers to become scholars in order that more understanding exit between the two. Defends Peter from the criticism of being a materialist and portrays him as an apostle to the world, not of the world.

1947 May

"Letter To Our Readers at the Beginning of Our Fifteenth Year" (DDLW #155)
Outlines P. Maurin's program for social action as the instituting of Houses of Hospitality, Clarification of Thought and Farming Communes, and explains where the C.W. has gone with each program. Reveals Maurin's sources of thought and the need to find lay apostolates. Traces personal sacrifices to Jesus' command in the gospels and asserts that the state cannot take over this duty.

1948 May

"Without Poverty We Are Powerless" (DDLW #468)
Asserts the importance of voluntary poverty even if it means we are fools for Christ. Then gives a loving appreciation of Peter Maurin's holy poverty, blending light-hearted stories and a graphic description of his dementia and silent suffering. Quotes from Fr. Faber on death in anticipation of Peter's death within a year.

1949 June

"The Story of Three Deaths - Peter Maurin, Lawrence Heaney, Willie Lurye" (DDLW #495)
A loving obituary for Peter Maurin giving the details of his death and burial. Speaks of his last five years of illness, the day he died, his wake and funeral. Emphasizes the ways "He was another St. Francis of modern times."

1955 May

"Peter's Program" (DDLW #176)
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.

1965 May

Peter Maurin, Personalist (DDLW #914)
Tells a story of Peter Maurin's work at the Easton farm and goes on to summarize his principal teachings. Peter was a deeply religious man, a reader and constant student, who recommended books, especially the lives of the saints. He valued physical labor and wanted farming cooperatives, "clarification of thought", and houses of hospitality. His faith was invincible, he exhorted a philosophy of poverty and the study of man's freedom.

1977 May

"Peter Maurin 1877-1977" (DDLW #256)
Recounts her first meeting with Peter Maurin in 1932, his teaching style, his personal example, and his platform for the Catholic Worker: "Roundtable Discussions, Houses of Hospitality and Farming Communes--those were the three planks in Peter Maurin's platform."