Defend the lowly and the fatherless, render justice to the afflicted and needy. Rescue the lowly and poor, deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82, 3-4

T h e O k l a h o m a C i t y

+Catholic Worker+

Volume IV #2 + The world will be saved by Beauty + Fall 2005 + Internet Edition

Dorothy Day Center Opens, by Tresa Evans

Our Annual Appeal, R. Waldrop

Christians, who has put a spell on you?, by M. Mertens

House Update

Upcoming OKC Catholic Worker Events

Action for Justice

Going down the Emmaus Road, Rev. Lance Schmitz

Oklahoma Wagon Wheels with Pecans, a State Fair award-winning recipe!

Tips for conserving energy and reducing your utility bills, text of a flyer we are handing out this month, PDF version, suitable for downloading and making copies for distribution in your area. This flyer may be freely reproduced.

The Chaplet of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, html version, PDF version, suitable for printing and making your own 3 fold brochure for distribution.

Published occasionally in print and internet editions by the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, 1524 NW 21st, OKC, 73106, 405-557-0436, + + + + +


Offers Food for the Hungry, Hope for the Hopeless

By Tresa Evans

Three years of vision and hard work came to fruition with the September 9th opening of the new Dorothy Day Center at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic parish in Oklahoma City. The center, named for the co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, is a distribution warehouse for groceries and other necessities for the poor and marginalized of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area.

Since 1999, members of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker community have met each month on Saturdays to sack groceries and deliver the groceries to the many people that had requested the assistance. "First we worked in the living room, then on the porch, and for the last several years, we have worked outside on the sidewalks and driveways," Bob Waldrop, founder of the community, said. "It was usually freezing cold for the winter deliveries, but we never once in five years were rained out."

Over the last 2 years, this ministry has grown to the point that a storage and work area was needed that would meet the requirements of the Regional Food Bank for food storage. Inspiration came for the new center from a visit to St. Matthew's Catholic parish in Elk City, Oklahoma. They have a large warehouse where they store food to be distributed in the area. "Because of the quality of their facility, St. Matthew''s was able to secure food from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma as well as donations from the people of their parish." said Marcus Evans, Catholic Worker and director of the Dorothy Day Center at St. Charles. Soon afterward, Evans sought permission from St. Charles Borromeo, his home parish, to build the new center and use the center to store and deliver food in collaboration with the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House. The effort required several meetings with the parish council and staff as well as extensive planning with contractors, the Regional Food Bank, and even a Registered Dietician with expertise in food storage guidelines.

On November 1st, 2004, fund-raising for the center began and in May 2005 all of the $93,276 needed for the building was pledged together with a little over $10,000 additional in-kind donations. In July, 2005 ground was broke and construction began. September 9th, 2005 was the date of the last inspection. It was also the date the Regional Food Bank gave their nod of approval for allotments from their program. Marcus said, "Before we had access to the groceries from the Food Bank, the Catholic Worker House was purchasing most of the food from groceries stores and having to spend large amounts of time shopping for the best deals. Now we are able to receive large quantities of USDA products free of charge, as well as other groceries at a price of mere pennies per pound. We are saving money and getting a much greater amount of food to feed the poor."

Members of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House along with members from St. Charles, St. Francis, and Epiphany parishes and the First Church of the Nazarene meet two Saturdays a month to bag groceries and make deliveries. Deliveries are also made throughout the month to people in emergency situations. "We have watched our deliveries increase drastically over the last few years. Right now, we are making over 300 deliveries a month and we expect that number to rise as more and more people of our community are marginalized from the effects of higher prices and the lack of living wages that prevails in this area." said Evans.

The center will be blessed by the Most Reverend Eusebius Beltran, Archbishop of Oklahoma City, on Sunday, November 6th, at 3 PM. It is located at 4909 N. State Street, which runs along the east side of the St. Charles parish property; it is just south of the wooden building that houses the parish's free clinic. For more information on the Dorothy Day Center contact Marcus Evans at (405) 740-0697. If you wish to refer someone for a grocery delivery, who does not have transportation to get to a regular food bank, call 405-557-0436.


"We are very grateful for the vision and work of Marcus Evans in building this center, for the faithfulness of the parish of St. Charles to the Gospel, and for the generosity of the benefactors who provided the necessary resources. The Bible says, 'Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build it. Marcus truly depended upon the Lord throughout this process, and as a result of his willingness to take personal responsibility for the project, the lives of thousands of people will be blessed in the days and years to come." Bob Waldrop.


Christians, who has put a spell on you?

By M. Mertens

Fr. Emmanuel Katongole spoke October 2nd to a meeting sponsored by the Wesley Foundation at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Fr. Katongole is the co-director of the Center for Reconciliation at Duke University Divinity School. The mission of the Center is to inspire, form, and support leaders, communities, and congregations to think, feel, and live as ambassadors of reconciliation in a broken world.

A native of Uganda, Fr. Katongole is a Roman Catholic priest and holds degrees from the Pontifical University in Rome and the Catholic University of Louvain. His topic for the evening was "Pacifism and the Christian Tradition."

Dr. Katongole spoke of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. He described Rwanda as a Christian nation (89%, mostly Catholic). He reminded us that the hundred days of massacres began on the Wednesday after Easter, following the beautiful and beloved celebration of the Holy Week liturgies. The almost unimaginable brutality that occurred included laity and clergy. Fr. Katongole repeatedly quoted St. Paul from Galatians, "Christians, who has put a spell on you?"

At one point, hundreds of people gathered for protection at the Cathedral. The bishop told them to move a few blocks to a school where he said they could be better accommodate. There they were massacred. Asked about this later, the bishop replied, "What could I do, I had no army." Fr. Katongole said, "How sad it was that only a military solution could be thought to be able to bring about peace."

At the same time, a small enclave of Muslims outside Kigali were able to survive by protecting one another. They survived by thinking of each other as Muslims, not as Hutus or Tutsis, the two warring tribes. "What does that sound like?" Dr. Katongole asks, "Neither Jew nor Greek, male or female." Again, he asked, "Christians, who has put a spell on you?"

He stated that Rwanda has attempted to quickly put these horrendous killings in the past. He said he is not willing to do so. This violence cries for prolonged and careful lamentation. In its hurry to return society to what is so-called "normal", Rwanda has moved too swiftly and too quickly to put the past on a shelf and therefore dismiss it and the lessons it may hold.

He then moved from Rwanda to the United States. He said that we moved to quickly to make heroes of those killed on 9-11. "They were not heroes, but victims." He went on to state that heroes are celebrated; deaths of victims are mourned. He stated that people have told him not to say such things, to do so is to go against the mythology of the State. Indeed, he stated that the State cannot do anything but promote its goals and seek its own continuance. He stated that people need spaces within society where they can experience alternatives to what might be offered by the government. The churches can afford such places of freedom if they are not too closely allied to the state. "Patriotism must not be blind."

Fr. Katongole said, "America should be lamenting the war in Iraq. Christians, who has put a spell on you?


House Update

by Robert Waldrop

We have been busy working on an "extreme green make-over" of our house - tearing off the south wall of the utility room to convert it into a passive solar sunspace/heater, super-insulating the walls to R-33 and the attic to R-50, replacing windows, & completing other repairs. The end result will be a house that uses a fraction of the energy we used before.

We are motivated by a moral imperative enunciated so clearly by Mother Teresa, who begged those of us who are not poor to "use less, so that others have more." One reason energy prices are so high is because most of us use too much energy. We not only use it, but we waste it like it was cheap and plentiful or something, without any thought of how our actions could be impacting others. But the fact remains: because we take more, others have less. This winter, the poor will suffer because of the gluttony of those who are not poor.

There are thousands of households in OKC who can better afford to make these simple changes to their homes than we can. Now is a time for Christians to take responsibility for being careful stewards of Creation, and to voluntarily take less of the goods of this earth so that there will be more for all. We can share much experience and knowledge that we have learned in our own process of learning to live lighter and more frugally upon the land and its resources. Please pray about how you can do your part to conserve energy and thus promote peace and justice.

Upcoming OKC Catholic Worker Events

+ Sunday, Nov 6, 3 PM, dedication of Dorothy Day Center, 4909 N State (at St Charles parish).

+ Tuesday, November 8, 7 PM, Catholic Worker meeting and potluck snacks and desserts, at 2622 NW 11 in OKC, call Lance or Ashley at 528-2102 for directions..

+ Saturday, November 12th, 9 AM, food deliveries to Wesley Village, the Towers, Bell Aire, Towers Annex, meet at Dorothy Day Center, 4909 N. State, OKC

+ Sunday, Nov. 13th, organizational meeting of the Catholic Peace Fellowship, 2 PM, St. Patrick Parish, Room 14

+ Saturday, November 19th, 9 AM, food metropolitan area food deliveries, meet at Dorothy Day Center.

+ Evening Prayer in Memory of the Servant of God Dorothy Day, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of her death, 7 PM, 1524 NW 21st, OKC.

+ Saturday, December 10th, 9 AM, food deliveries to Wesley Village, the Towers, Bell Aire, Towers Annex, meet at Dorothy Day Center, 4909 N. State, OKC

+ Saturday, December 17th, 9 AM, food metropolitan area food deliveries, meet at Dorothy Day Center.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, help the helpless, strengthen the fearful, comfort the sorrowful, bring justice to the poor, peace to all nations, and solidarity among all peoples. Amen. Please pray for us and all the poor during these difficult and evil times.


As Christians, we are called to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and shelter the homeless. But we are also called to ask, "Why are these people hungry, naked, and homeless?" Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin taught us that we must work for justice, we must build new structures in the midst of the collapsing ruins of the old. Here are some ideas for Action for Justice this month.


+ Pray and work for peace. Two pages of this newsletter can be used as a master to make flyers promoting the Chaplet of Dorothy Day & Peter Maurin, a devotion of justice & peace. Please make copies and give them to friends and place them in the literature racks at your parish. We encourage everybody to fast and abstain from meat on all Fridays, as penance for the many sins against life in this world. Attend the organizational meeting of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Catholic Peace Fellowship, Sunday, November 13th, from 2 to 3:30 PM, at St. Patrick Parish, 2121 N Portland, Office Bldg., Room 14.

+ Use less, so that others have more. One reason we have an imperial foreign policy is because we the American people live an imperial lifestyle. In the modern world, energy conservation is a moral imperative. The most effective work, besides prayer, that we can do for justice and peace is to live more simply and frugally and to conserve energy. This is more effective than any number of marches or public demonstrations. It is a Little Way of Justice and Peace that is accessible to all.


+ Just and Living Wages. Contact your local school board and support just and living wages for school support personnel. Many school support employees are barely making above the minimum wage, and they are supporting families. Many are single mothers with kids. It is a sad commentary on the moral corruption of these times that people think that these low wages are somehow good public policy. Do not vote for the re-election of any school board member who does not support just and living wages for all school support personnel.

+Pedestrian crosswalks along Northwest Expressway. Northwest Expressway is a major six lane street that goes for 14+ miles through densely populated neighborhoods. Yet, there is not one single pedestrian crosswalk anywhere from Classen to Council, and there is not one inch of sidewalk. Last month, a woman was killed trying to cross NW Expressway at night. Because NW Expressway is a highway, it is under the control of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and they say they won't do anything unless it is requested by the Oklahoma City Council. Please contact the city council and the mayor and demand that crosswalks be installed at all intersections and also at several places between the major intersections.

Going Down the Emmaus Road

by Rev. Lance Schmitz

Life as a Catholic Worker is like being a character in some sort of strange movie. This movie is filled with unusual plot lines, strange characters, and a few saints along the way. There is no such thing as a "typical" Catholic Worker; we have in our ranks here in OKC music ministers, firemen, Protestant clergy, boxers, nurses, computer programmers, teachers, we even have an actual philosopher, and these are just a few of the people who call themselves "Catholic Workers". We are a unique ragtag cluster of folks attempting to build a new society on the crumbling foundations of the old structures that prey on the poor.

The Gospel is a dangerous notion, it is always seeking to destroy the fallen world that we live in and rebuild it in a fashion that looks like the Kingdom of God. The Oscar Romero Catholic Workers are co-builders in the Kingdom of God. Being a worker changes the lives of those we serve, but we workers are fundamentally changed because of our relationship with the poor, whose journey we share.

Please join us on Tuesday, November 8th, for an informal meeting and discussion about the future of the Catholic Worker movement in Oklahoma City. We will potluck snacks and desserts, and meet at 7 PM at 2622 NW 11th.

Lance is the minister of compassion and social justice at Oklahoma City's First Nazarene Church.

Oklahoma Wagon Wheels with Pecans

A 2005 State Fair Award Winning recipe by Tresa Evans

This recipe won first prize this year in the Centennial Cinnamon Roll contest. The rolls entered in the contest were made all Oklahoma products (except for the sugar, yeast, and cinnamon), many of which were purchased directly from farmers via the Oklahoma Food Cooperative.

Ingredients: cup warm water |1 tbsp yeast | cup honey | cup warm milk | 1 tsp salt | cup soft butter | 2 certified organic eggs |4 cups white flour from Shawnee Milling Company |2 cups fresh, home-ground, certified organic, whole wheat flour | cup melted butter |3/4 cup honey |1 cup whole pecans |1-2 tbsp. softened butter | Cinnamon Filling:1 cup sugar | 1 tsp ground cinnamon | cup chopped pecans from Whippoorwill Ranch

Mix milk, salt, softened butter and eggs. Add both flours, 1 cup at a time, while mixing & kneading. Let rise for 30-60 minutes. Layer pecans in bottom of well-buttered deep pan. Mix the melted butter & cup honey together well & pour in pan. Mix the sugar & cinnamon together. Roll out the dough, cover surface with 1 tsp. butter & sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture & chopped pecans. Carefully roll the dough up tight. Cut in about 2 inch rolls & place in prepared pan. Let rolls rise for 30 to 60 minutes. Bake at 350*F for about 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes and turn out onto plate.


This year, natural gas and electricity prices will be much higher than last year. Many families will experience great hardship because of this. THERE WILL NOT BE ENOUGH MONEY FROM CHARITIES AND THE GOVERNMENT FOR EVERYBODY WHO NEEDS ASSISTANCE WITH UTILITY BILLS THIS WINTER!!! Do everything you can to reduce your utility bills. Here are some simple and cheap ideas for doing this.

+ Lower your thermostat. Turn it down even more at night. During the day, dress for the season while indoors. Wear sweats, a sweater, warm socks, and maybe even a hat. Layer your clothes - several layers of loose clothes will help keep you warm. Clean clothes keep you warmer than dirty clothes. At night, put extra blankets on the bed. Wrap yourself in a blanket while reading or watching TV.

+ Put sheets of plastic over the outside of your windows. Staple it to the trim, and then nail thin pieces of wood around the edges to hold it securely in the wind.

+ Put two or three layers of bubble-wrap over the inside of the windows. Use a strong tape all the way around the edges to seal them tightly. If the window is still drafty, put a single sheet of plastic over the inside of the window in the same way as is recommended above for the outside of the windows.

+ Hang blankets underneath the curtains over the windows. Open the curtains and blankets during the sunny part of the day. Hang blankets over doors too. You can also duct tape two or three of those cheap auto sunshades together and hang them on the inside of your windows, shiny side in, to keep heat in the house.

+ Look for air leaks and plug them! Use a lighted incense stick and move it slowly around windows, doors, electrical outlets, places where pipes go through walls, etc. Use caulk for cracks around doors and windows. Use weather-stripping around doors so they close tightly. Wood putty or caulk can be used along baseboards. If the exterior of your house is brick, fill any breaks in the mortar with fresh mortar.

+ If you have central heating, change the filter. Wash clothes in cold water.

+ Don't pour warm or hot water down the drain! Put a stopper in the shower and let the water cool before draining; do the same with cooking and dish water. Let the heat and humidity from the water help keep your house warm.

+ The sun is your friend in the winter. When the sun is shining, open curtains and let the sun shine in. If the sun can shine on some heavy masonry, like brick or concrete, so much the better. But as soon as the sun stops shining, close the curtains and hang up your blankets. Paint five gallon buckets black, and place them outside all day in the sun, and then bring them inside at night. They will slowly release the heat they gained. (Note: the buckets must have lids.) This trick also works with 2 liter bottles, such as pop bottles. You would need more bottles than buckets, but it is probably easier to find bottles. Often you can get 5 gallon buckets with tight fitting lids for free at restaurants and bakeries.

+ If your budget is severely restricted, heat only one room in the house, preferably one right next to the kitchen, and concentrate activities in the room.

+ Turn off the lights when you are not using them. Replace regular incandescent lights with compact flourescent lights. Beware of "ghost loads". Many televisions and other appliances are on all the time, even if you think they are "off". Plug them into electric strips with on and off switches, and use the on and off switch to ensure they do not burn electricity when not in use.

+ Crockpots, electric frying pans, and toaster ovens are more efficient than full size electric stoves. Pressure cookers use less energy because foods cook faster. When you do heat up your oven, cook several dishes at once to save time and money. Uncovered pans can use 3 times as much energy to cook food as do covered pans. Use the smallest pan that will fit the recipe and use a burner the size of the pan (don't use a small pan on a large burner if you can avoid it). Keep the metal splash guards under the burners clean, if they are dirty it will take more energy to cook the food.

+ Install low flow showerheads and faucet aerators, this can really cut the expense of hot water heating. Insulate the hot water tank. You can get jackets specially made for this or you can make your own out of insulation or reflectix (sold in home supply stores, it is like bubble wrap covered with aluminum foil). Do NOT cover the area where the burners vent if it is a gas hot water heater, do not cover the top, the bottom, or the thermostat.

This flyer is being included with our grocery deliveries this winter.

PDF version of energy conservation flyer, suitable for downloading and making copies for distribution in your area. This flyer may be freely reproduced.

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