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Thanksgiving Letter

Migrants Following Refugee Holy Family
by Angel Valdez

Life at Casa Juan Diego is like being in front of an eternal conveyor belt with countless people, with never ending needs passing by. People come for food, for hospitality, for advice, for help to survive, for ways to engage the legal system, for ways to help children succeed in school, for a wheel chair or adult diapers when they are wounded, for a blanket to keep warm, for transportation to a relative, or to see a volunteer doctor in our clinic. We receive calls from groups at the Border, from lawyers in nonprofit groups, from ICE, to receive new refugees, from the hospitals of Houston to assist with those who are injured or very ill.

Everyone does their part in supporting Casa Juan Diego. People from all over the Houston area and the United States responded again this year to our Christmas letter with funds to sustain our Works of Mercy, with adult diapers and underpads for the sick and injured, with back packs, sweatshirts, blankets, new clothing and toys, underwear and toiletries for immigrants and refugees, not to mention the food that was donated for the hungry, and the help of the Houston Food Bank with food as well.

“Sometimes,” Dorothy Day wrote, “I think the purpose of the Catholic Worker is to show the providence of God, how God loves us.  We talk about what we are doing because we constantly wonder at the miracle of our continuance.  This work came about because we started writing about the love we should have for each other in order to show our love of God. It is the only way we can know we love God.”

Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement believed that the practice of the Works of Mercy involved more than simply receiving the Lord in the poor, binding up wounds and washing feet, although these were an incredible work and witness of the Gospel.  Peter understood from the lives of the saints that this practice could be revolutionary, that the witness and methods of living the Gospel could change the whole social situation.

We are most grateful to the many generous people who support Casa Juan Diego and the Houston Catholic Worker newspaper, but even more importantly we are grateful to the many people who claim “our” work as their own—those who speak very beautifully about “their” efforts at “their” Casa Juan Diego.  They have realized that the revolution of the heart, that living out the Gospel is the way to change the social order.

Thank you all for sharing in the Epiphany of the Lord through the Works of Mercy.

Louise Zwick and All at Casa Juan Diego


Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XL, No. 1, January-February 2020.