How’s Donna Doing?

She’s indefatigable, that’s how Donna’s doing.

Long-time Mustard Seed soup kitchen director Donna Domiziano is back at her post-Mustard Seed apartment off Vernon Street in Worcester. She’s in a wheelchair, mostly healed up after a fall, now doing lots of physical therapy in hopes of being able to get into and out of the chair by herself. At that point, she’ll have an easier time riding in cars, and will get back to visiting soup kitchens and homeless shelters, helping out and cheering up the many down-and-out Worcesterites she befriended during her 30 years living and working at the Seed.

She’s drawing parallels between her current situation and other unexpected setbacks in her life, times when she refused to give up, instead praying for God’s grace and knowing that, sooner or later, she’d see a new way forward. Totally inspiring, this lady, you should pay her a visit.

Anarchism, Catholic and otherwise

Bruce “Snow Ghost” Russell and I are doing a new cable access show! It’s called The Silver Mountain and the episodes will begin running at 9am and 11pm Saturdays, and 6pm Sundays, on WCCA TV13 in Worcester.

We’re very pleased that the first episode features our old pal Brenna Cussen talking about Catholic anarchism, with our other pal Anne Lewenberg representing the secular anarchists. Great folks talking about the things that move them: expect nothing less from the Snow Ghost.

An interview with Claire Schaeffer-Duffy

Long-time Worcester Catholic Worker Claire Schaeffer-Duffy is one of 35 people on trial in Washington, DC, Tuesday for nonviolent civil disobedience at the Supreme Court against torture and denial of habeas rights to Guantanamo detainees. I talked to her shortly before she left on the bus to DC.

Download the mp3 or see more formats.


Catonsville Nine: The 40th anniversary

On May 17, 1968, a group of Catholics now known as the “Catonsville Nine” went to the draft board in Catonsville, Maryland, took 378 draft files, brought them to the parking lot in wire baskets, dumped them out, poured homemade napalm over them, and set them on fire.

To remember the anniversary of this event, which continues to bear fruit today, we talked with Catonsville Nine member (and our housemate) Tom Lewis. Also part of the conversation is long-time peace activist Emeritus Professor Michael D. True, Ph.D. and Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa).

Coffee: Aeropress

It’s time for our annual conversation from and about the Mid-Ohio Valley. This year, Mark and Sarah talk about the Aeropress coffee maker, the Golden Girls, Yakov Smirnoff, “Black Pete,” and “Bubble.”

But not Barry Switzer.


Pie and Coffee: Are we going to talk about coffee first, or Barry Switzer first?

Mark: Whatever you want. I don’t care.

P: I’m drinking this cup of coffee. This is not the greatest cup of coffee I’ve ever had.

M: Yeah, it’s okay coffee, but it’s not–

Sarah: I’d say it’s solid.

M: I’d say it’s fine. I mean, that’s the thing, it’s perfectly acceptable.
Continue reading “Coffee: Aeropress”

Strategies for zombie defense

Here’s a long interview with occasional Pie and Coffee contributor Scott Schaeffer-Duffy about zombies, and how compassion is a key part of defense against zombie attack.

Scott: Division and self-interest are not good solutions. Building up walls, keeping out people, not being hospitable, they’re not good solutions cause ultimately somebody’s gonna catapult a plague victim over your walls because of the bitterness. You’re gonna end up divided with each other. You gotta keep your values intact.

Mike: So actually Worcester’s success in dealing with people who are experiencing homelessness, or addiction, or whatever, maybe comes into play when we face zombie attack.

Scott: The compassionate cities are gonna fare better.

Interview with a Cirignano juror

I recently spoke with a juror in the Larry Cirignano case. The juror chose to be anonymous.

I edited the juror’s answers only lightly, but I removed some of my more aimless questions, and some of our conversational exchanges that aren’t really relevant.

If other jurors would like to come forward with their stories, please e-mail us at

Some would say that the details of deliberations can’t be revealed without hurting the whole process. But I learned a lot from this conversation, and I hope it will make me a better juror if I’m ever called to serve.
Continue reading “Interview with a Cirignano juror”

Grace Ross talks about the food stamp diet

Today I interviewed Worcester activist and City Council candidate Grace Ross on her experience with the “food stamp diet.” Grace Ross

[Click to download the mp3]

Many US politicians, including several members of Congress, have taken the challenge to eat on $3 a day, the average US food stamp benefit.

Open Source did a great show about the food stamp challenge.

Related at Vox Nova: The Welfare State– Right and Wrong Reasons.