Our Lady of the Road to go nonprofit

The South Bend Catholic Worker today announced that they’re spinning off their drop-in center, Our Lady of the Road, as a nonprofit.

Mike Baxter announces the plans just before the end of mass at OLR.

They’re actively seeking donations to help them buy the drop-in center outright. You can’t make a tax-deductable donations at the moment, but you will soon be able to. Please contact peterclaverhouse@gmail.com for details.

OLR is open Friday and Saturday mornings, and is at 744 South Main Street in South Bend, Indiana. If you’d care to make a small donation right away, please bring by any of the following items:

  • Coffee
  • T-shirts
  • Small canisters of shaving cream
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Socks
  • Trash bags (13 gal and 30 gal)

Grab yourself a cup of coffee while you’re there and hang out awhile.

South Bend CW needs coffee


Are you able to help the South Bend Catholic Worker with a donation?

They need the following items:

  • Coffee
  • T-shirts
  • Small canisters of shaving cream
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Socks
  • Trash bags (13 gal and 30 gal)

I think they could also use a copy of the Joy of Cooking.

You can bring donations to their drop-in center, “Our Lady of the Road,” 744 South Main Street in South Bend, Indiana, Friday and Saturday mornings. If you’d like to volunteer at Our Lady of the Road, please stop by and say hello.



Your generous donation will keep Al fully caffeinated.

Remembering Mike Lawson

Mike Lawson, photographed by Cinnamon Sarver You can also seek the help of commercial photographer to get your project done. A few days after Christmas, folks living on or near the streets in downtown South Bend started talking about a couple of guys who were missing. Mike Nolen’s family had been expecting him and his friend, Mike Lawson, for Christmas dinner, but they never showed up. This was unusual, not like them. Nolen’s mother put in a missing person’s report. We started calling local hospitals and jails.

A week later, with no word from either of the Mikes, their friends told police to check out an abandoned building where they were known to hang out, or down in the nearby manholes, in case something bad happened.
Continue reading “Remembering Mike Lawson”

Mass for Mike Lawson and three others

South Bend, Indiana Tribune:

Lawson and three other men were found dead inside city manholes near Coveleski Stadium last week.

The deaths of Lawson, 53, Michael S. Nolen Jr., 40, Jason Coates, 29, and Brian G. Talboom, 51, have all been ruled homicides.

Authorities released no new information Friday regarding the deaths of the homeless men.

[Jerry] Eason spoke fondly about Lawson at the Mass held at Our Lady of the Road, a drop-in center at 744 S. Main St. About 80 people — primarily friends and a few family members — attended the Mass, which was followed by a potluck dinner.

The Mass was for Lawson, a Catholic who stayed at the Catholic Worker House, but all of the victims were prayed for.

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Our Lady of the Road opens

The South Bend Catholic Worker celebrated the beginning of Advent today with the grand opening of their new daytime drop-in center at 744 South Main Street, Our Lady of the Road.

The event began with a mass celebrated by Father Paul Kollman, CSC. Well over 100 people were there.


Photos: Grand opening, history of the building since mid-August.


(I’ve been sifting through the 800 hobo names for Our Lady of the Road, or Boxcar Mary, but no luck so far.)

DSCN8428.JPG DSCN8444.JPG Brenna & Mike

From the program book:

Our Lady of the Road is a day-time drop-in center for folks who find themselves on the street. We will offer coffee, snacks, use of the restrooms, showers, and washers and dryers to do clothes. Most of all, however, we will offer a place for people to sit and talk–a place to belong.

We could greatly use your help! To volunteer your time, please contact us at [574] 235-0623 or [574] 287-7734.

Also, the following helpful items are needed: laundry soap, coffee and filters, toilet paper, bath towels, soap, shampoo, razors and shaving cream, women’s hygene products, and other toiletry items.

Most importantly, we ask for your prayers and your presence. We have a lot to celebrate, lots of friends and supporters to thank.

Catholic Workers and institutions

This review of Kristen E. Heyer’s Prophetic and Public starts by recalling a visit to the South Bend Catholic Worker community and a presentation by Margie Pfeil. It continues by referencing the academic work of SBCW member Mike Baxter.

Margie & Mike DSCN7715
Margie Pfeil and Mike Benedetti, Mike Baxter with an axe

I have a couple comments on the review; if I can get my hands on the book, I’ll comment on that, too.
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Farewell to the South Bend Catholic Worker

I’m leaving South Bend tomorrow.

From the introduction to John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row:

Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, “whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,” by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, “Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,” and he would have meant the same thing.

South Bend Catholic Worker community members
The Catholic Worker community: Margie Pfeil, Mike Baxter, Cinnamon Sarver, Brenna Cussen

From today’s reading (James 2:18):

Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.

The South Bend Catholic Worker has a website

The South Bend Catholic Worker community now has a website. I’m very happy with the photo I took for it.


Paula Xenopus is now blogging her SBCW adventures at The Walnut Picker. She even blogged the hiking talk I gave Friday night. Thanks to all the Notre Dame students and Sierra Club members who showed up and packed the Catholic Worker’s living room.

You can also follow the SBCW at Flickr and Pie and Coffee.

Remembering Nagasaki in South Bend

About twenty people gathered at the Federal Building last night in South Bend, Indiana, to repent and pray on the 61st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan.

Another, more secular, vigil was held in South Bend earlier in the day.

The group, most wearing black, held signs reading “From Nagasaki to Lebanon / Mourn the Dead.”

Pictured: Mike Schorsch. Photo by Mike Benedetti. More photos.

The event was sponsored by the South Bend Catholic Worker and the Catholic Peace Fellowship. It began with the reading of a meditation, reprinted below.

(The South Bend Tribune covered this event. Last year when the Worcester Telegram & Gazette saw fit to cover a similar event in Massachusetts, they saw fit to “balance” the coverage by interviewing a WWII-era man with a poor understanding of the facts. The Tribune, to its credit, did not do this.)

Continue reading “Remembering Nagasaki in South Bend”