July 9 – 12, 2008. Our Lady of Mount Carmel/Saint Anne Parish Center, 23 Mulberry St., Worcester, MA.

Organized by the Saints Francis & Therese Catholic Worker community, Mustard Seed Catholic Worker community, and others.


Bob Fitch Photo

Bob Fitch Photo


  • Martha Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day opens the conference: mp3
  • Robert Ellsberg, editor of Dorothy Day’s diaries: mp3
  • Peacemaking discussion with Claire Schaeffer-Duffy, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Frank Cordaro, and others: mp3
  • History discussion with David O’Brien, Mel Piehl, Nancy Roberts, Rosalie Riegle, Dan McKanon, and others: mp3
  • Homily from closing mass by Father Bernie Gilgun: mp3
  • Salve Regina from closing mass: mp3

Audio in other formats

Audio from Blast Furnace Radio:

  • Sound collage of panels and interviews with attendees: mp3
  • Excerpt from Peacemaking panel (full version above): mp3
  • Jeff Dietrich on Catholic Worker journalism: mp3




Statement “affirmed in assembly” at the gathering

About the gathering

The 2008 Catholic Worker gathering is in Worcester, Massachusetts.


Wednesday, July 9th

  • 3pm: Arrival, setting up CW community displays and art.
  • 7pm: Dinner. Vegan and non-vegan options.
  • 7:30pm – 9pm: Welcome, brief community introductions.

Thursday, July 10th

  • 7am: Morning prayer led by Br. David Buer, OFM. (Gym)
  • 7:30am – 8:30am: Breakfast.
  • 9:30am – 11am: “Dorothy Day and the Duty of Delight,” a talk by Robert Ellsberg, former editor of The Catholic Worker, editor in chief of Orbis Books, and author of numerous books including Little by Little: The Selected Writing of Dorothy Day, All Saints: Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time. (Gym)
  • Noon – 1pm: Lunch.
  • 1:30 – 3pm: Workshops
    • “CW Art,” facilitated by Brian Kavanagh and Jackie Allen-Doucot of the St. Martin de Porres CW, Hartford, Connecticut, long-time Catholic Worker artist Rita Corbin, and young Catholic Worker artist Grace Duffy. (Art Room)
    • “Restorative Justice,” facilitated by Fred Boehrer of Emmaus House CW, Albany, New York. (Stage)
    • “Raising a Family in the CW,” facilitated by Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickam of the Viva House CW, Baltimore, Maryland, Lenore Yarger and Steve Woolford of the Silk Hope CW, Siler City, North Carolina. (Gym)
    • “Green Revolution,” facilitated by Beth Ingham of the Noonday CW Farm, Winchendon, Massachusetts, Betsy Keenan and Brian Terrell of the Strangers and Guests CW Farm, Maloy, Iowa, Sue Frankel-Streit of the Little Flower CW Farm, Trevilians, Virginia. (Dining Room)
    • “Shakers and the CW,” facilitated by Michael Boover of the Mustard Seed CW, Worcester, Massachusetts and Walt Chura of the Albany, New York CW. (Church)
  • 3:30 – 5pm: Workshops.
    • “CW Journalism,” facilitated by Tanya Theriault, an editor of The Catholic Worker, NYC, Mark and Louise Zwick, editors of The Houston Catholic Worker, Houston, Texas, and Jeff Dietrich, an editor of The Catholic Agitator, Los Angeles, California. (Gym)
    • “Fool for Christ,” the one-woman play about Dorothy Day performed by Sarah Melici, who has appeared around the United States to critical acclaim. (Church)
    • “Confronting Racism,” facilitated by Chris Allen-Doucot of the St. Martin de Porres CW, Hartford, Connecticut, Luz Catarineau Colville, of the Amistad CW, New Haven, Connecticut, and Margie Pfeil of the South Bend (Indiana) Catholic Worker. (Dining Room)
    • “CW Healthcare: from Philadelphia to Haiti,” facilitated by Mary Beth Appel, CFNP, and Johanna Berrigan, PA-C, of the House of Grace CW, Philadelphia. (Art Room)
    • “Prayer and the CW,” facilitated by Michael Boover of the Mustard Seed CW, Worcester, Massachusetts. (Outside or Stage)
  • 5:30 – 6:30pm: Dinner.
  • 7 – 9pm: “Panel on Peacemaking.” Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit, Michigan, former President of Pax Christi USA and internationally recognized peacemaker, Catholic Worker Claire Schaeffer-Duffy of Worcester, Catholic Worker Frank Cordaro of Des Moines, and Catholic Worker Clare Grady of Ithaca, New York.
  • 10pm: Dance Party with live music by the Blodgett Smith Band. Later, a DJ.

Friday, July 11th

  • 7am: Morning prayer led by Br. David Buer, OFM. (Stage or Outside)
  • 7:30 – 8:30am: Breakfast.
  • 9:30 – 11:30am: “Panel on Catholic Worker History,” moderated by historian David O’Brien of Holy Cross College. Panel includes Mel Piehl, author of Breaking Bread: The Catholic Worker and the Origins of Catholic Radicalism in America, and the Dean of Humanities and History at Valparaiso University; Nancy Roberts, history professor at New York University, Albany, and author of The Influence of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, and American Catholic Pacifism; Rosalie Riegle, Author of Voices of the Catholic Worker, professor emerita of theology at the College of Saint Benedict; and Dan McKanan, author of The Catholic Worker After Dorothy Day: Practicing the Works of Mercy in a New Generation, assistant professor of theology at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict,.
  • Noon – 1pm: Lunch.
  • 1:30 – 3pm: Workshops.
    • “Offering Hospitality to the Undocumented,” facilitated by Mark and Louise Zwick of Casa Juan Diego CW, Houston, Texas. (Gym)
    • “War and Abortion,” facilitated by Mary Ryder of the Fr. Charlie Mullholland CW, Garner, North Carolina. (Dining Room)
    • “The Miraculous Insanity of CW Finances,” facilitated by Scott Schaeffer-Duffy of the Saints Francis & Therese CW, Worcester, Massachusetts. (Gym or Outside)
    • “Conflict Resolution in CW Communities,” facilitated by Will Raymond of the Saints Francis & Therese CW, Worcester, Massachusetts. (Chapel)
    • Claudia Larson’s Dorothy Day documentary Don’t Call Me a Saint. (Art Room)
  • 3:30 – 5pm: Workshops.
    • “Campaign to Stop Torture,” facilitated by Matt Daloisio of Mary House CW, New York City. (Dining Room)
    • “The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti.” This multimedia presentation, accompanied by the music of Charlie King & Karen Brandow, explores the story of pair who whose execution in 1927 drew international attention and continued to raise relevant issues: dissent, immigrants, war, peace, and the death penalty. (Art Room)
    • “Catholicism and the CW,” facilitated by Tom Cornell of Peter Maurin CW Farm, Marlboro, New York and Teka Childress of Karen House CW, St. Louis, Missouri. (Gym)
    • “Confronting the Unspeakable,” with Jim Douglass, author of numerous books, including The Nonviolent Cross and JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he died and why it matters, of Mary House CW, Birmingham, Alabama. (Gym or Church)
  • 5:30- 6:30pm: Dinner.
  • 6:30 – 7:30pm: Rehearsal for musicians and singers performing at Saturday’s mass. (Chapel)
  • 7:30pm: Talent Show, followed by more dancing

Saturday, July 12th

  • 7am: Morning prayer led by Br. David Buer, OFM. (Stage or Outside)
  • 8:00 – 9:00am: Breakfast.
  • 10:00am: Mass, celebrated by Most Rev. Robert McManus, Bishop of Worcester. Father Bernie Gilgun, of the Mustard Seed Catholic Worker, will be the homilist.

Catholic Workers: please bring copies of your newsletters and a display about your community.

Do you have ideas for discussion topics? Add them here.

The Worcester Art Museum is going to schedule a reception for Catholic Workers to see their exhibit of Tom Lewis’ work.

We are looking for volunteers to help with child care which we hope to offer for the morning and afternoon sessions on Thursday and Friday. Please contact Scott Schaeffer-Duffy if you can help.


Lastly, if people have money and want to contribute to the gathering they can send it to “SS. Francis & Therese Catholic Worker, 52 Mason Street, Worcester, MA 01610” with “CW gathering” in the memo. Our ideal is to make the entire gathering free for all those who come. Since Worcester is quite far away from many CW houses, we don’t want Catholic Workers to have to pay money on top of transportation costs.

Published in: | on November 20th, 2007 | No Comments »