Thanks for attending the Catholic Worker national gathering!

posted by Mike on July 12th, 2008


Bishop Robert McManus today said mass at Mt. Carmel for the 75th anniversary of the Catholic Worker movement. It was a wonderful way to close the Catholic Worker national gathering.

Father Bernie Gilgun, a long-time Catholic Worker, was the homilist. Also at the altar were Fr. Bafaro of Mt. Carmel, Fr. Robert Johnson, Msgr. Sullivan, Fr. Jim Houston, and Deacon Walter Doyle. Donna Domiziano of the Mustard Seed Catholic Worker read the first reading.

DC Catholic Worker Art Laffin greets Bishop McManus

Carl Paulson
Carl Paulson of Upton, MA, is the oldest living Catholic Worker.

Donna also masterminded the food for the gathering. There were lots of vegan options, all of them terrific.

Me amidst the group photo.

I asked Rich Bishop for the story of how, exactly, the 75th anniversary gathering ended up in Worcester. It’s a long story, but I think the short answer is: It was Mike Boover’s idea.

Thanks to all 400-500 of you who attended for making this a great event!

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4 Comments Leave a comment.

  1. On July 14, 2008 at 11:50 Cha-Cha said:

    Mike, I’ve said before that you’re the most photogenic activist in the Woo.

    Speaking as a non-Catholic, I found the parts of the gathering that I got to attend to be great. I’m sad that I wasn’t able to attend the workshops, and I hope it happens again soon. For me, the 3 best parts were 1) finding out that CW folks are really concerned about Iran, immigration, and building a gay-friendly CW, 2) dancing with many CW people, who know how to get down, on Thursday night, and 3) getting to attend the mass on Saturday morning.

    Father Bernie Gilgun is an amazing communicator. The part of what he said that stuck with me was when he was talking about everything you get out of voluntary poverty, everything you learn from it and the good stuff you’re able to do with it. And he talked about how Jesus ran into a rich guy one day, and He was like, “Dude, get rid of your stuff, its bringing you down! Come follow me!” but the rich guy wasn’t ready to do it. And I was reminded of that saying, something like “It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle than it is for a rich man to find his way into heaven.”

    But then Father Bernie broke it down for those of us, like me, and like that rich man, who are not quite at the point of ditching all our earthly possessions. He goes, “Well, Jesus didn’t say you had to do it all by 2pm this afternoon!” And that wasn’t exactly comforting to me – I mean, he wasn’t saying “Don’t worry about it, Cha-Cha.” He was saying, “Work on it. Really think about it. Spend some serious energy and time on it.” And that, I can do.

    Father Bernie, you rocked it. Thanks for breaking it down, and giving me the gift of your homily.

  2. On July 14, 2008 at 11:56 Mike said:

    Cha-Cha, thanks for the awesome comment.

    You were asking me Thursday, “Who exactly is at this thing?”

    I thought about that question at mass, when Fr. Carl Kabat was the first person to receive communion from the bishop.

    That’s a pretty good sampling of who was there: folks like Cha-Cha, me, Carl Kabat, and Bishop McManus. Throw in some crying babies and a dog, and I think that the people at that mass were an accurate reflection of the breadth of the worldwide Catholic Worker movement in 2008.

  3. On July 15, 2008 at 14:11 Tracy said:

    Thanks for the photos!

  4. On July 16, 2008 at 08:02 Ciaron O'Reilly said:

    Wish I was there (still waiting for my presidential pardon!), Wish y’all were here…but I guess if that was the case we’d all miss each other because no one would be home!

    Enjoying listening to the podcasts and trying to i.d. folks under all that grey hair! Here’s some snaps from our vigil at Dublin’s GPO while y’all were gathering in Worcester…htm#4

    Stay staunch
    Keep the faith
    Ciaron O’Reilly
    (At large in Dublin, Ireland)

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