Thursday, May 01, 2008

Nothing Ironic About This: Happy 75th Birthday, Catholic Worker Movement

Nice article in CNS. Sic used to be a live-in volunteer for about three years at our local CW and we're both still connected to the houses and the work of hospitality:

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Seventy-fifth anniversary or not, lunch still must be served at the New York Catholic Worker's Maryhouse. Hungry people will be waiting, as they are every day.

Jane Sammon knows the routine: hospitality, meals, conversation, responding in whatever way possible to people in need. She's been at Maryhouse for nearly 36 years, arriving in the summer of 1972 from Cleveland to live a life of voluntary poverty and personal sacrifice with a deep commitment to the works of mercy. It's a way of life many admire but few venture to try.

Maryhouse is a place where the world is made better for people "little by little," as Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day often would say, recalling the example of St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus. It's a place where people are readily welcomed and their human dignity is uplifted. Day wanted a place where Christ would feel at home.

"It's an amazing thing that really has very little to do with us," said Sammon, 60. "It's the grace of God that keeps us going."
Author Jim Forest, who worked alongside Day in New York in the 1960s and 1970s and has written extensively about her life, relates a story reflecting her view about the movement's future. Asked in 1973 if she thought the movement would survive her, Day answered, "Why shouldn't it? It has already survived more than 40 years of me."

Heh. I think I would have liked Dorothy.


Laurie said...

I'm always mixing up Dorothy Day, Doris Day, and Doris Duke. This makes my life very confusing sometimes.

Ray from MN said...

And, interestingly enough, it is Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn's 75th birthday, also.

Archbishop John Nienstedt, formerly bishop of New Ulm and Coadjutor Abp. of StP-M, is now our archbishop.

Pray for them both, and the Catholic Worker Movement.

Allen's Brain said...

Congratulations, Comrades, on 75 years of throwing off the shackles of the Catholic ruling class!

What do you mean, that's not what CWM's about?