Catholic Worker Movement
The Catholic Worker Movement is a collection of autonomous communities of Catholics and their associates founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933. Its aim is to "live in accordance with the justice and charity of Jesus Christ." One of its guiding principles is hospitality towards those on the margin of society, based on the principles of communitarianism and personalism. To this end, the movement claims over 213 local Catholic Worker communities providing social services. Each house has a different mission, going about the work of social justice in its own way, suited to its local region.
Catholic Worker houses are not official organs of the Catholic Church, and their activities, inspired by Day's example, may be more or less overtly religious in tone and inspiration depending on the particular institution. The movement campaigns for nonviolence and is active in opposing both war and the unequal global distribution of wealth. Dorothy Day also founded The Catholic Worker newspaper, still published by the two Catholic Worker houses in New York City and sold for a penny a copy.
The Catholic Worker Movement started with the Catholic Worker newspaper, created to advance Catholic social teaching and stake out a neutral, pacifist position in the war-torn 1930s. This grew into a "house of hospitality" in the slums of New York City and then a series of farms for people to live together communally.
The movement quickly spread to other cities in the United States, and to Canada and the United Kingdom; more than 30 independent but affiliated communities had been founded by 1941. Between 1965-1980 an additional 76 communities were founded with 35 of these still in existence today, such as the "Hippie Kitchen" founded in the back of a van by two Catholic Workers on Skid Row, Los Angeles in the 1970s. Well over 200 communities exist today, including several in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and Sweden.
Beliefs of the Catholic Worker
"Our rule is the works of mercy," said Dorothy Day. "It is the way of sacrifice, worship, a sense of reverence."
According to co-founder Peter Maurin, the following are the beliefs of the Catholic Worker:
- gentle personalism of traditional Catholicism.
- personal obligation of looking after the needs of our brother.
- daily practice of the Works of Mercy.
- Houses of Hospitality for the immediate relief of those who are in need.
- establishment of Farming Communes where each one works according to his ability and receives according to his need.
- creating a new society within the shell of the old with the philosophy of the new.
The Catholic Worker considered itself a Christian anarchist movement. All authority came from God; and the state, having by choice distanced itself from Christian perfectionism, forfeited its ultimate authority over the citizen... Catholic Worker anarchism followed Christ as a model of nonviolent revolutionary behavior... He respected individual conscience. But he also preached a prophetic message, difficult for many of his contemporaries to embrace.
- Ammon Hennacy
- Ade Bethune
- Bill Kauffman
- Catholic Radical Alliance
- Catholic social teaching
- Catholic trade unions
- The Catholic Worker, a newspaper produced by the Catholic Worker Movement
- Christian anarchism
- Christian communism
- Christian left
- Christian libertarianism
- Christian radicalism
- Christian socialism
- Christian trade unions
- Christian views on poverty and wealth
- Ciaron O'Reilly
- Friendship House
- Fritz Eichenberg
- Industrial Workers of the World
- James J. Braddock
- James Loney
- Liberation theology
- Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker
- Political Catholicism
- Saint Patrick's Day Four
- Utah Phillips
Similar Christian movements
- Servants to Asia's Urban Poor
- Madonna House Apostolate
- "New Monasticism" related communities.
- Anabaptism, in particular the emerging peace church movement
- Peace Churches
- On the English CW, see: Olivier Rota, From a social question with religious echoes to a religious question with social echoes. The ‘Jewish Question’ and the English Catholic Worker (1939-1948) in Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXV n°3, May–June 2005, pp. 4–5.
- Robert Waldrop, "About the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House," www.justpeace.org/ Retrieved August 17, 2011.
- "The Aims and Means of the Catholic Worker" from The Catholic Worker newspaper, May 2002
- "Catholic Worker Movement". Catholicworker.org. 1933-05-01. Retrieved 2011-06-30.
- Dan McKanan, The Catholic Worker After Dorothy, 2008. Pp 75-76. http://books.google.ca/books?id=LalvZo7fx5sC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Catholic+Worker&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kPfGUreNA6nA2AXGoYH4Bw&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Streeter, Kurt (2014-04-09). "A couple's commitment to skid row doesn't waver". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2014-04-09.
- Directory of Catholic Worker Communities "List of Catholic Worker Communities". Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- "Saint Dorothy Day? Controversial, Yes, But Bishops Push for Canonization". Huffington Post. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- Maurin, Peter. "What the Catholic Worker Believes".
- The concept of "a new society within the shell of the old" appeared in the preamble to the constitution of the IWW, though there not given a religious rationale 
- Cornell, Tom (May 2010). "In Defense of Anarchism". Catholic Worker. LXXVII (77th Anniversary Issue): 4–5.
- Prentiss, Craig R. (2008). Debating God's Economy: Social Justice in America on the Eve of Vatican II. p. 74. "Subsidiarity and its value in promoting the philosophy of personalism was also key to undergirding perhaps the most distinctive element of the CW ideology, its Christian anarchism"
- Klejment, Anne; Patrick Coy (1988). A Revolution of the heart: essays on the Catholic worker. Temple University Press. pp. 293–294.
- Dorothy Day (1997) Loaves and Fishes: The inspiring story of the Catholic Worker Movement. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1963.
- Main website of the Catholic Worker Movement
- Catholic Worker communities at DMOZ
- Dorothy Day-Catholic Worker Collection at Marquette University
- The Way of Love: Dorothy Day and the American Right - by Bill Kauffman, Whole Earth (Summer 2000)
- Following Jesus in love and anarchy - The Times, February 29, 2008