Catholic Workers celebrate 75 years

More than 500 current and former Catholic Workers, adherents of a radical fealty to the beatitudes who have taken their Catholicism all the way to the margins of society, gathered in Worcester, Mass., July 9-12, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the movement.

They came from throughout the United States and from Europe to share stories, pray, discuss the nitty-gritty of life in Catholic Worker houses of hospitality, hash out philosophy and dance. They produced a statement urging the church to reject war and speak loudly for justice.

“At this critical point in history, as we face unending war, including U.S. plans to attack Iran, ecological destruction and economic collapse, we call on our church and nation to join us in repenting our affronts to God,” the statement read in part.

“We once again implore the leadership of the Catholic church in the United States, now and without evasion, to break its silence and to wield the authority provided by the nonviolent Gospel of Jesus Christ, by calling the entire nation to repent for the war crimes we have committed in the so-called War on Terror.”

Incarnation on Rochambeau Avenue

Bronx, N.Y. -- Every week, we bump into God at a crowded table with friends

I can hear their laughter before I push open the unlocked door and slip off my shoes. Three or four people are crowded in the galley kitchen of my friends Sandra and Greg’s Bronx apartment. Someone is stirring the pot on the stove -- likely rice, lentils or vegetable stew. The wine that Sandra’s Portuguese father makes in his basement is already flowing. The laughter is warm and familiar. We’ve been stepping into each others’ kitchens for years now and the jokes are often as easy as ribbing a sibling. Before long the rest of the crowd is here and we are on folding chairs, gathered around Sandra and Greg’s table for our weekly meal.