The mission of the Catholic Worker Initiative is to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner and work to expose and eradicate the injustices, systemic and otherwise that plague the vast majority of our human family. The Catholic Worker is about the belief in the sacred dignity of each and every human being on the planet, period. In a culture that worships material success , wealth and comfort, Catholic Workers seek to embrace poverty voluntarily as a way of growing closer to God and all God’s children.
Our founders, Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day met each other in 1933 in the midst of the Great Depression, and conspired almost immediately to live with and among the poor, to provide hospitality for them in the guise of the aforementioned works of mercy, and to be tireless advocates of a Catholic Social teaching that applies the words of Jesus to the numerous social injustices in our own communities and around the world. In the words of Dorothy Day: “The greatest challenge of the day: is how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution that has to start with each one of us.”
The Youngstown Catholic Worker began formation back in December of ’08 and began hospitality services on November 22, 2009. Our hospitality consists of a hot meal, coffee, a safe place to relax, access to clothing, a shower, a washer and dryer, and most of all a warm welcome with the offer of friendship and the promise of respect for everyone who walks through our doors.
Dinner is served Monday-Thursday from 5:00 to 6:30 PM, and free showers are offered on Tuesday evenings from 3:00 to 4:45 PM. Roundtable discussions of social justice topics are held on the fourth Thursday evening of the month from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Volunteers are welcome to assist with chefing, serving meals, showers, gardening, and miscellaneous tasks around the house.
We will have a couple Catholic Workers living in our house from day one, and hope to be able to provide housing for those who are in a homeless situation in the very near future. We are eager for like-minded people to join us. Even though we find our inspiration in the Judeo-Christian tradition, we are not driven by dogma but by basic principles of social justice that a diverse cross-section of our community are sure to find compelling.