May Day and the Catholic Worker Movement

The first of May, or May Day, is known in much of the world as International Workers’ Day. In the U.S., Occupy protestors planned a day of action to highlight workers’ struggles in today’s financial system, though it is too early to fully assess the size and impact of their activities. May Day is also the anniversary of the Catholic Worker Movement, started in 1933 by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin as a newspaper publishing pieces on labor, social justice, and peace from a Catholic perspective. Today, the Catholic Worker Movement includes houses of hospitality– intentional communities engaged in direct service to the poor and in peace and justice activism– around the world. Referencing the recent controversy over the Vatican’s reprimand of a group of American nuns, the New York Times published an article today on the Catholic Worker, contrasting the vision of Catholic Christianity embodied by the movement (which the article depicts as similar to the vision of the reprimanded nuns) to the vision of Catholicism championed by the Vatican. In particular, the story highlights the centrality of political activism to the Catholic Worker’s vision of Catholicism, both now and throughout its history. To read more, see the article.


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