header icons

Roots of the Catholic Worker Movement: Distributism: Ownership of the Means of Production and Alternative to the Brutal Global Market

The plight of workers throughout the world is at a crisis stage. Many are not only working for slave wages, but have been removed from their own communities and local economics and left desperate. The Business pages of the Houston Chronicle of August 1, 1999, featured several entire pages on the economic devastation of Latin America… continue reading

Emmanuel Mounier, Personalism, and the Catholic Worker movement

Emmanuel Mounier (1905-1950) articulated the ideas of personalism, of human persons whose responsibility it is to take an active role in history, even while the ultimate goal is beyond the temporal and beyond human history. Mounier articulated it as “a philosophy of engagement…inseparable from a philosophy of the absolute or of the transcendence of the… continue reading

Voluntary Poverty at Heart of Catholic Worker Movement

This article, the sixteenth in the series on the Roots of the Catholic Worker movement, features voluntary poverty, one of the marks of the movement. The great message which Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, has for the world today is the message of voluntary poverty. John Cort, friend of Peter’s and still… continue reading

Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin Creative in their Approach to the Labor Movement (Labor & Workers)

This article, on labor and support for workers, is the fifteenth in our series on the Roots of the Catholic Worker movement, the saints, philosophers and ideas which influenced Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. When Dorothy Day became Catholic, a priest asked her to write the story of her conversion, telling how the social teaching… continue reading

The Common Good and the Body of Christ: St. Thomas Aquinas and the Catholic Worker Movement

This is the thirteenth article in the series on the saints and philosophers who influenced Peter Maurin and Dorothy in the development of the Catholic Worker movement. The Catholic Worker is neither liberal nor conservative. As the editors
 of the Houston Catholic Worker have insisted with determined constancy, the Catholic Worker embodies the radical discipleship… continue reading

The Roots of Dorothy Day’s Pacifism:Solidarity, Compassion and a Stubborn Hold on Truth

There has been one systematic study of Dorothy Day’s pacifism and that of the Catholic Worker movement, Robert Gilliam’s “Put Up Your Sword: the Pacifism of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker,” an excellent unpublished 180 page manuscript. It would be folly for me to trace the development of Dorothy Day’s thinking on war and… continue reading

Dorothy Day, Prophet of Pacifism for the Catholic Church

One of Dorothy Day’s great gifts to the Catholic Church and to the United States was her drawing together of Catholic biblical and theological resources to establish pacifism and conscientious objection as a legitimate stance for Catholics and for Americans. Today this is not just a teaching of Dorothy Day. The U. S. Catholic Bishops… continue reading

Saint Therese’s Little Way demands Love in Action

Loving one Difficult to Love There’s one sister in the community who has the knack of rubbing me up the wrong way at every turn; her tricks of manner, her tricks of speech, her character, just strike me as unlovable. But, then, she’s a holy religious; God must love her dearly; so I wasn’t going… continue reading

Saint Therese of Lisieux inspired Dorothy Day

The ninth article in the series on the influences on Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in founding the Catholic Worker features St. Therese of Lisieux. It would be hard to imagine two more unlikely soul mates than Dorothy Day and Saint Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower. Dorothy Day cofounded the Catholic Worker Movement with… continue reading

Dorothy Day: Driven by Love (Fr. John Hugo)

I met Dorothy when she came to Pittsburgh to make a retreat that I was conducting at St. Anthony Village, Oakmont, then an orphanage under the direction of a colleague, Father Louis Farina. These retreats had been planned, during the summer vacation, for small groups including some local Catholic Workers. This was some time after… continue reading