Journeys of justice and peace through the Third Christian Millennium

Note: in transferring this page to the archive, for some reason a lot of formatting disappeared, it will eventually be restored, but in the meantime, it's plain vanilla. RMW

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Grace to you and Peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Volume IV, #1 + Easter 2001 + published occasionally to cyberspace by the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City + Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam + The future will be different if we make the present different. Peter Maurin


Crossroads Featured news, connections, links. Solidarity Reports, news, views, links, resources, from and about them that's doin'. World Bank/IMF/Corporate Welfare Watch We keep our eye on these global structures of sin.
Spirituality Source of orthopraxis. Disasters and Emergency Relief On-going stuff that usually doesn't change from issue to issue.
Bookstore justice, peace, prudent, frugal, and simple living, community, organizing. Church documents important new documents from popes, bishops, with selected quotes. Parish and diocesan sites -

I usually start these webzines with some personal notes, but the more I wrote for this edition, the more I realized, "this isn't very "personal note folksy" at all. In fact, it's more like a Veritable Rant." So be it, Bob's Rant . Now, back to folksy personal observations.

We have had a peaceful, productive, and busy springtime, we planted 58 different varieties of edible perennials on the yard (first step to getting rid of the lawn in its entirety), by the middle of the summer, if you're hungry and in the neighborhood, just stop by and nibble on the lawn. Visit our Better Times sustainable living webzine , and read all the details about our baby "forest garden". We've launched a new webzine, Energy conservation news and resources , which has big piles of info about energy conservation and frugality. Some of our "busy-ness" has been taking our own advice.

The line at the food pantry is longer than ever, but fortunately we only had to turn people away for only one episode of five days since our last edition (due to empty shelves). In kind donations are increasing quite a bit, but we run pretty close to empty most of the time. We had a St. Joseph's Table in March at my parish. Read about it and see some pictures here .

During Lent, seven college students from Creighton University visited us for their spring break as a poverty immersion/service trip. They picked up trash in a poor neighborhood, learned how to bake bread, attended a sewing class, toured a sustainable energy homestead, planted fruit trees and grape vines, distributed our Better Times energy almanac in a working class neighborhood, slept on the floor, made do without central heating, learned about justice and sustainable living issues, and organized our "free store" stock of clothing and miscellaneous household goods. They could have gone to the beach that week, but instead, they spent their time with us doing good works. They were champs and did a lot of good, hard, useful work while they were here. God bless them.

The heat of the summer is upon us, although the weather is quite nice these days. We've only had one heart-stopping tornado warning which fortunately went away about as fast as the sirens got going good and loud. We got through the winter just fine, there was a great outpouring of support in December, and we were able to help a lot of families with both Christmas food and gifts. There were several special heroes in this (you know who you are - and SO DOES GOD), and we are grateful to everybody who is helping with our rather anarchic journey of justice and peace into the Third Christian Millennium.

Come out of your Egypt of Oppression, was the message chanted by cantors, deacons, and priests at the beginning of the Easter Vigil. Long has been our sojourn in Goshen, now is the time to rise up and go out into the promised land of freedom. Fortunately, we don't have to wait for the objective circumstances to favor us, we can begin living in the Reign of God right now. That's what we're trying to do, as imperfectly and poorly as we do it. Most of the time we're just peering through a smoky glass, barely getting a glimpse of what's going on. But thus far that has been enough, and what more can any of us ask but to have enough of what is needful to do what we are to do?

Let us keep in our prayers Jeff Moebus, of New Orleans, a decorated Vietnam War veteran who is now a member of Pax Christi, who in April began a 42 day fast and public witness at the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Robert Waldrop, for the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City

Justpeace Crossroads TOP

Harvard Living Wage Sit-in , Harvard University, a wealthy, powerful, and prestigious academic institution, does not pay many of its workers a living wage. These students, have come together in solidarity to call their institution to a better standard of behavior. This link has action info - we urge everyone to call, write, fax, or email Harvard University in support of the students - and contact the students directly, by phone or email, too! We invite all to join in a novena of prayers to Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin for the intentions of these students and the Harvard workers. Find our novena prayer here.

Oscar Romero , from the Archdiocese of San Salvador, in Spanish, information about the canonization process, texts of his homilies.

The International Vincentian Family , new interactive website sponsored by the worldwide Vincentian family. Besides access, the site offers discussion forums, news updates, art, links, spirituality.

Twomey Center for Peace through Justice , at Loyola University in New Orleans, focus on workers rights, racism, poverty, and justice.

Office of Social and International Ministries , from the US Jesuit Conference. In All Things , online version of a print magazine (free subscriptions available).

Justice and Peace Studies Program , Creighton University, multi-disciplinary academic major and minor programs involving discussion, reflection, and praxis.

Thomas , on line US legislative information. Find status of bills, search for legislation.

Jesuit Center for Faith and Justice , sponsored by the Irish Jesuits, a response to structural injustice.

Is Dorothy Day's Laetare Medal in Jeopardy? By Mark and Louise Zwick, discusses opposition in the faculty of Notre Dame University, led by noted Americanist theologian Fr. Richard McBride, to the teaching of a priest associated with the Catholic Worker movement at the university. Discusses the "americanist" errors in US Catholic ethics and its accomodation to the traditional American values of greed and materialism.

Catholic Web Directory , 250 of the most prominent Catholic places in cyberspace.

Traditional Catholic Reflections and Reports , "news, opinion, and hope for a post-modern world," excellent access to news, information, and theological documents regarding the Church and the world. References some social justice material and has highlighted some of Dorothy Day's writing..

Columban Voices , newsletter of the Columban Missionary Society, Justice , and Ecology .

Feminists for Life , non Catholic but pro-life in the continuing tradition of Susan B. Anthony.

Parish and Diocesan Sites

Justice and Peace Ministries , St. Boniface parish, Sea Cliff, NY. Information on local activities, has online parish resources such as Family Justice and Peace .

St. Joseph Parish , Sunnyside, Washington, St. Joseph Advocate , online parish social justice newsletter, "act, reflect, transform." Social Justice ministry.

Catholics for Habijax , a coalition of Catholic parishes in the Jacksonville, Florida area involved with Habitat for Humanity.

Solidarity, Orthopraxis, Community Development


Orthopraxis refers to practicing what you preach.

Madonna House , hospitality and solidarity with the poor, founded by Catherine de Houeck Dougherty, a friend of Dorothy Day.

Poverty USA , America's forgotten state, from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development,

Volunteer Opportunities at Catholic Worker houses throughout the nation.

Rural Mexico Research Review , online academic publication, premier edition, reviewing academic literature and discussing Transnational Communities. Jointly published by the University of California at Davis and El Collegio Mexico.

No to Plan Colombia: land reform essential for desperate campesinos , from the Houston Catholic Worker, an indictment of US policy in Latin America.

Witness for Peace , conducts research and sends delegations to examine the effect of US policies on the poor of the western hemisphere. Founded in 1983.

Mines Advisory Group , UK charity involved with clearing land mines throughout the world and helping victims of land mines.

Creighton Center for Service and Justice , at the Omaha Jesuit university, sponsors service trips during spring breaks and during the year in Omaha.

Jesuit Social Commitments , in Japan and Asia.

Pacific Institute for Community Organization , serves a national network of congregation-based community service organizations.

Witness for Peace , promoting justice in the Americas, in particular, see their Colombia information, with reports from delegations recently returned from the country.

Justicia, Paz, Vida , justice, peace, and life, social justice information and spirituality in Spanish, from the Claretian Missionaries.

LivingWage.Org , from the Employment Policies Institute, tracks the burgeoning living wage movement in the United States.

Giving gardens to the needy , story of a British man who creates gardens for poor people.

Prayer For The Canonization of Servant of God Dorothy Day

Merciful God, you called your servant Dorothy Day to show us the face of Jesus in the poor and forsaken. By constant practice of the works of mercy, she embraced poverty and witnessed steadfastly to justice and peace.

Count her among your saints and lead us all to become friends of the poor ones of the earth, and to recognize you in them. We ask this through your Son Jesus Christ, bringer of good news to the poor. Amen

Spirituality TOP

Commentary on the Works of Justice and Peace , a redaction of homilies of Oscar Romero.

El Salvador Jesuit Martyrs , commemoration of the 10th anniversary. Pilgrim Journal , recorded by four members of the Creighton University community who went to El Salvador on pilgrimage.

Catherine de Hueck Dougherty , foundress of the Madonna House Lay Apostolate, Russian refugee, friend of Dorothy Day. Madonna House apostolate emphasizes solidarity and hospitality with the poor, and voluntary poverty. Has online chapters from her book Sobornost.

Christian Ascetism: breaking consumerism's deadly hold , from the Houston Catholic Worker, Fr. Timothy Vaverek discusses how our disordered priorities inflict pain and suffering on individuals, families, and communities, and how the Gospel offers a way out.

Easy Essays by Peter Maurin, 34 new essays at "The future will be different if we make the present different."

Saints of Charity , from Catholic Charities USA, brief reviews of the lives of saints with major importance for justice and peace spirituality.

Is there a change in paradigm in liberation theology? , from the SEDOS site, by Fr. Jose Maria Vigil,

Meditation on the deaths of the Rosenbergs , a tender and moving meditation on the execution of the "Timothy McVeigh's" of an earlier generation, the Rosenbergs, convicted of espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union. Calls us to pray for mercy and to have no part in the vindictive state.

Who is guilty of 'murders' in Chicago? , by Dorothy Day, July 1937, discusses the murder of ten people by the police at a demonstration during a strike in Chicago. Says the events were filmed, but Paramount supressed the footage out of concern that it would cause riots and hysteria if shown publicly.

Day after Day, May 1941 , Dorothy's regular column in the Catholic Worker, discusses the value of manual labor and the opening of new Catholic Worker houses. Argues that it is right that the Catholic Worker campaign against the underlying social injustices which cause hunger, poverty, homelessness, and war.

Day after Day, May 1942 , Dorothy's visit to Oklahoma City, and the new Catholic Worker house there - St. Patrick's Guest House, has a meeting with the M.R. Francis Kelley, Bishop of Oklahoma City. A priest in Geary, Oklahoma, is growing potatoes, cabbages, and other vegetables for the St. Patrick House kitchen.

Via Lucis , the Way of Light, a devotion with 14 stations for the Easter season.

For each month's prayer intentions of the Holy Father, with complementary readings, see the Catholic Information Network's Apostleship of Prayer. -->-->

Virtual Rosary Online!

For the sake of profit many sin, and the struggle for wealth blinds the eyes. Sirach 27:1

World Bank/IMF Watch TOP Envy not the lawless man and choose none of his ways. Proverbs 3:31

Cancellation of the African Debt will not change anything , by Aquiline Tarimo, SJ, from the SEDOS site. Discusses how the African debt problem grew from colonial structures, encouraged and abetted by world financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, and the large commercial banks and transnational corporations of the developed countries. Argues that resolving Africa's dilemma requires structural changes, not just debt relief.

Adjusting the World Bank and IMF: real change or new image? , Jean Somers, Columban Fathers, on the SEDOS site. The IMF has renamed its Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility as the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. The question is: does the friendlier name indicate a friendlier policy, or just better public relations? Well, the WB and IMF steadfastly refuse to admit they have made huge mistakes with the poor countries. And they seem to be simply repackaging their old programs as new "pro-poor growth" policieis, despite the fact that they have increased poverty and misery in the past.

Washington's Political Transition threatens Bretton Woods twins , a critique of the IMF and WB, notes the failure of their structural adjustment policies by their own standards, says there is a big debate among internationalists in the US, and that the new Bush administration will be less receptive to continuing funding for the programs. In fact, the data suggest that the WB/IMF are a plot to keep poor countries poor. The amount of poverty and misery in those countries grew rapidly under structural adjustment. Has facts and data disproving the World Bank's claim that it is now shifting its focus to reducing poverty. Quotes a 1999 internal WB document claiming the agency had "tolerated corruption, accorded factual status to false government statistics, legitimized the dictatorship by passing it off as a model for other countries, and was complacent about the state of human rights and the monopolistic control of the economy." Even so, at a debate sponsored by Vaclav Havel in Prague, Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank can say, "I and my colleagues feel good about going to work everyday."

Focus on the Global South , documents the on-going deterioration of the economic circumstances of the global poor.

Globalization: who is in control? , by Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago. Considers the importance of the lives, works, and teachings of Dorothy Day, Bishop Hector Caldera, and Pope John XXIII.

He who oppresses the poor blasphemes his Maker. Proverbs 14:31a

Church Documents

Novo Millenneo Adveniente , apostolic letter of John Paul II at the close of the Jubilee Holy Year 2000.

In our own time, there are so many needs which demand a compassionate response from Christians. Our world is entering the new millennium burdened by the contradictions of an economic, cultural and technological progress which offers immense possibilities to a fortunate few, while leaving millions of others not only on the margins of progress but in living conditions far below the minimum demanded by human dignity. How can it be that even today there are still people dying of hunger? Condemned to illiteracy? Lacking the most basic medical care? Without a roof over their heads?

The scenario of poverty can extend indefinitely, if in addition to its traditional forms we think of its newer patterns. These latter often affect financially affluent sectors and groups which are nevertheless threatened by despair at the lack of meaning in their lives, by drug addiction, by fear of abandonment in old age or sickness, by marginalization or social discrimination.

In this context Christians must learn to make their act of faith in Christ by discerning his voice in the cry for help that rises from this world of poverty. This means carrying on the tradition of charity which has expressed itself in so many different ways in the past two millennia, but which today calls for even greater resourcefulness. Now is the time for a new "creativity" in charity, not only by ensuring that help is effective but also by "getting close" to those who suffer, so that the hand that helps is seen not as a humiliating handout but as a sharing between brothers and sisters.

God made man the steward of creation , John Paul II, General Audience, January 17, 2001,

Unfortunately, if we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God's expectations. Man, especially in our time, has without hesitation devastated wooded plains and valleys, polluted waters, disfigured the earth's habitat, made the air unbreathable, disturbed the hydro-geological and atmospheric systems, turned luxuriant areas into deserts and undertaken forms of unrestrained industrialization, degrading that "flowerbed"--use an image from Dante Alighieri (Paradiso, XXII, 151)-- which is the earth, our dwelling-place.

We must therefore encourage and support the "ecological conversion" which in recent decades has made humanity more sensitive to the catastrophe to which it has been heading. Man is no longer the Creator's "steward", but an autonomous despot, who is finally beginning to understand that he must stop at the edge of the abyss. "Another welcome sign is the growing attention being paid to the quality of life and to ecology, especially in more developed societies, where people's expectations are no longer concentrated so much on problems of survival as on the search for an overall improvement of living conditions" (Evangelium vitae, n. 27). At stake, then, is not only a "physical" ecology that is concerned to safeguard the habitat of the various living beings, but also a "human" ecology which makes the existence of creatures more dignified, by protecting the fundamental good of life in all its manifestations and by preparing for future generations an environment more in conformity with the Creator's plan.

World Peace Day 2001 Message , Pope John Paul II

9. The radicalization of identity which makes cultures resistant
to any beneficial influence from outside is worrying enough; but
no less perilous is the slavish conformity of cultures, or at
least of key aspects of them, to cultural models deriving from
the Western world. Detached from their Christians origins, these
models are often inspired by an approach to life marked by
secularism and practical atheism and by patterns of radical
individualism. This is a phenomenon of vast proportions,
sustained by powerful media campaigns and designed to propagate
lifestyles, social and economic programmes and, in the last
analysis, a comprehensive world-view which erodes from within
other estimable cultures and civilizations. Western cultural
models are enticing and alluring because of their remarkable
scientific and technical cast, but regrettably there is growing
evidence of their deepening human, spiritual and moral
impoverishment. The culture which produces such models is marked
by the fatal attempt to secure the good of humanity by
eliminating God, the Supreme Good. Yet, as the Second Vatican
Council warned, "without the Creator the creature comes to
nothing!"(7) A culture which no longer has a point of reference
in God loses its soul and loses its way, becoming a culture of
death. This was amply demonstrated by the tragic events of the
twentieth century and is now apparent in the nihilism present in
some prominent circles in the Western world.

17. Faced with growing inequalities in the world, the prime value
which must be ever more widely inculcated is certainly that of
solidarity. A society depends on the basic relations that people
cultivate with one another in ever widening circles -- from the
family to other intermediary social groups, to civil society as a
whole and to the national community. States in turn have no
choice but to enter into relations with one another. The present
reality of global interdependence makes it easier to appreciate
the common destiny of the entire human family, and makes all
thoughtful people increasingly appreciate the virtue of

At the same time it is necessary to point out that this growing
interdependence has brought to light many inequalities, such as
the gap between rich and poor nations; the social imbalance
within each nation between those living in opulence and those
offended in their dignity since they lack even the necessities of
life; the human and environmental degradation provoked and
accelerated by the irresponsible use of natural resources. These
social inequalities and imbalances have grown worse in certain
places, and some of the poorest nations have reached a point of
irreversible decline.

Consequently, the promotion of justice is at the heart of a true
culture of solidarity. It is not just a question of giving one''s
surplus to those in need, but of "helping entire peoples
presently excluded or marginalized to enter into the sphere of
economic and human development. For this to happen, it is not
enough to draw on the surplus goods which in fact our world
abundantly produces; it requires above all a change of
lifestyles, of models of production and consumption, and of the
established structures of power which today govern societies".(9)

Jubilee of Agriculture , November 2000, message of Pope John Paul II to farmers:

The culture of the farming world has always been marked by a sense of impending risk to the harvest, due to unforeseeable climatic misfortunes. However, in addition to the traditional burdens, there are often others due to human carelessness. Agricultural activity in our era has had to reckon with the consequences of industrialization and the sometimes disorderly development of urban areas, with the phenomenon of air pollution and ecological disruption with the dumping of toxic waste and deforestation.

Christians while always trusting in the help of providence, must make responsible efforts to ensure that the value of the earth is respected and promoted. Agricultural work should be better and better organized and supported by social measures that fully reward the toil it involves and the truly great usefulness that characterizes it.

If the world of the most refined technology is not reconciled with the simple language of nature in a healthy balance, human life will face ever greater risks, of which we are already seeing the first disturbing signs. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, be grateful to the Lord, but at the same time be proud of the task that your work assigns to you. Work in such a way that you resist the temptations of a productivity and profit that are detrimental to the respect for nature. God entrusted the earth to human beings "to till it and keep it" (cf. Gn 2:15). When this principle is forgotten and they become the tyrants rather than the custodians of nature, sooner or later the latter will rebel.

Homily at the closing mass, Jubilee of Politicians , John Paul II, November 2000,

On the other hand, the personal integrity of the politician also needs to find expression in a correct conception of the social and political life which he or she is called to serve. From this standpoint, Christian politicians need to make constant reference to those principles which the Church's social doctrine has developed in the course of time. These principles, as we know, do not constitute an ideology" and even less a "political program"; rather, they offer a fundamental approach to understanding the human person and society in the light of the universal ethical law present in the heart of every human being, a law which is clarified by the revelation of the Gospel (cf. Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 41). You, dear brothers and sisters engaged in political life, must be eloquent and effective proponents of these principles.

Certainly, the application of these principles to the complexities of political life will often and inevitably meet up with situations, problems and circumstances which can legitimately give rise to diverse concrete judgments. Yet at the same time there is no justification for a pragmatism which, even with regard to essential and fundamental values of social life, would reduce politics to the mere balancing of interests or, worse yet, to a matter of demagogy or of winning votes. If legislation cannot and must not be coextensive with the whole of the moral law, neither can it run "counter" to the moral law.

Happy are those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked. Psalm 1:1a

He who oppresses the poor blasphemes his Maker. Proverbs 14:31a

Disasters and Emergency Relief TOP

They ask their mothers, "Where is the cereal?" -- in vain, as they faint away like the wounded in the streets of the city, and breathe their last in their mothers' arms. Lamentations 2:12

Jesuit Refugee Service , on line presence of the world Jesuit order's humanitarian efforts.

ReliefWeb from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Complex Emergencies, information about on-going emergencies and various countries of concern to the humanitarian community. There isn't very much good news here. ReliefNet Home Pagenon-profit helping humanitarian organizations raise global awareness and encourage support for relief efforts via the Internet. AlertNet, a news and communications service from the Reuter Foundation for the emergency relief community, has press releases from leading relief agencies, expert analyses, reviews of key issues and events, jobs notice board. Has a focus page on Kosovo. Direct from the Field, reports from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the world's largest humanitarian network. DisasterRelief.Org, worldwide disaster aid and information via the internet. Some very sad and tragic stories here.

Kosovo Regional Emergency , from Catholic Relief Services Kosovo Humanitarian Aid and Discussion links

Happy are those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked. Psalm 1:1a

Remember the time of hunger in the time of plenty; poverty and want in the day of wealth. Sirach 18:25 TOP

On-going . . . Subscribe to Catholic Information Network Mailing lists: CINJUSTANN, Catholic Justice and Peace Announcements, and CINJUST, Catholic Justice and Peace Discussion, both moderated by Robert Waldrop, Justpeace web servant. CINMUSIC, about liturgical music in the Catholic context. Click on the link and follow the instructions to subscribe. CET, Caelum et Terra, a continuing conversation among people inspired by the Caelum et Terra magazine which briefly flowered in the 1990s. Discussions range from organic gardening to Catholic intentional communities. Offered through the facilities of the Catholic Information Network. A message archive is available at the CIN site: Catholic Information Network . Click on "mail lists" or "mail list archives".

Even to the death fight for truth, and the Lord your God will battle for you. Sirach 4:28

My son, rob not the poor man of his livelihood, force not the eyes of the needy to turn away.

A hungry man grieve not, a needy man anger not; do not exasperate the downtrodden;

delay not to give to the needy. A beggar in distress do not reject;

avert not your face from the poor. From the needy turn

not your eyes, give no one reason to curse you.

Sirach 4:1-5

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The just have a care for the rights of the poor;

the wicked have no such concern.

Proverbs 29:7

The mystery of the poor is this: that they are Jesus, and what you do for

them you do for Him. It is the only way we have of knowing

and believing in our love. The mystery of poverty

is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor

in giving to others, we increase our

knowledge of and belief in love.

Dorothy Day of New York,

Confessor and Catholic Worker

What we do here is very little,

but it is like the little boy with a few loaves and fishes. . .

Christ took that little and increased it; He will do the rest.

What we do is so little that we may seem to be constantly failing --

but, then so did He; He met with apparent failure on the Cross. . .

unless the seed fall into the earth and die, there is not a harvest.

And why must we see the results of our giving?

Our work is to sow -- another generation will be reaping the harvest.

Dorothy Day.

O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you.

Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge.

By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith.

Grace be with all of you. 1 Timothy 6:20-21

Copyright (c) 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 by Robert Waldrop

This is me (Spring 1999) while working at Catholic Charities in Oklahoma City earlier this year. Note the clean and well-organized desk.