Monthly Archives: December 2008

HOUSE NEWS: Help the GCW and come to our Christmas party!

Dear friends,

We don’t often do this, usually just once a year over the email list (twice when we’re desperate), but we hope that you might consider giving a gift to the Gainesville Catholic Worker during this holiday season. I think that most of our readers on the site and over email know that we are totally supported by the work of our own hands and by the kindness of our friends who believe in our work and witness. We are a not a non-profit; we do not receive grants from any government agency or foundations; we are not tax exempt; no one at the GCW is paid staff. We do this work because we believe that it is central to who we are called to be. We do this work because we truly believe that we are all family–ALL of us–and that each of us has a responsibility to stand beside and work with our sisters and brothers, especially those who are struggling because of poverty, homelessness, injustice, oppression, addiction, and mental illness. And we can only continue to do this work with your support.

We have always espoused the belief that together, we are more than enough; and that if each of us shares a little, we find–like the loaves and fishes–we have more than enough to take care of all. If it is possible, we hope that you will share a financial gift with the GCW this season. Gifts to the Gainesville Catholic Worker can be dropped off at the house or sent to us at Jubilee House, 218 NW 2nd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601. As always, you have our deepest thanks and we will hold you in our hearts and in our prayers.

CHRISTMAS PARTY: Join us this Wednesday anytime between 6:30 and 9pm for our annual Christmas party at the GCW. Bring food and drink to share if you can, and come ready to trim to the tree, listen to music and sing carols, and more. Please email and let us know if you are coming and bringing food/drink so we’ll know how much to make on our end.

This week is the last week that we operate on a fairly normal schedule until after the New Year. If you have not gotten your cafe fix for the semester, today is your last chance! And the last Breakfast Brigade of the semester will be Wednesday the 17th. One or more of us will be at the Jubilee House all through the holidays, but we’ll scale back our regular projects until after the season.

Again, thanks for all you do, for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers, for supporting us with your time and your money, and for your witness and work alongside us and the oppressed and forgotten in our community. Have a happy holiday season.

In peace,

All of us at the GCW

HOUSE NEWS: Thanking Iris and Patrick as their Metanoia semester ends

The days at the end of semesters are always sort of rushed and harried. At the the GCW, we’ve tried to ritualize these endings by taking stock of what we are doing and what more we need to do; asking ourselves how well we are living and how our lives (individually and communally) can better reflect our deepest values; and most importantly, naming all that we have and have experienced for which we are grateful.

Fall Metanoia end: One of the most deliberate and enjoyable ways we do this happens each semester’s end at our last Roundtable. The last Roundtable of the semester is typically when we give thanks and celebrate the women and men who have participated in the Metanoia semester with us over the previous few months. So this Thursday, at 6pm, we cordially invite all of you to join us in thanking and honoring Iris and Patrick for their time with us this past semester. Come with stories to share, comments, advice, well-wishes and whatnot. We’ll also give them a chance to say a few words to about their experience at the GCW. It is always a nice evening and we are hopeful that many of you who have crossed paths with them this semester will join us. And don’t forget to bring a dish to share!

GCW on Facebook: A year or so ago, a few students at UF were very kind to set us up with a page on the popular social networking site Facebook. We’re using it to complement our website now and allow for interaction from folks near and far who are part of the GCW community. If you want to join our Facebook group, just click here and join us.

Some more quick links for you:

  • See photos from our recent trip to the annual vigil and action at the School of the Americas by clicking here.
  • See a report and photos from Patrick’s trip to Haiti last week by clicking here.
  • Find some good Advent and Christmas resources from Pax Christi USA by clicking here.

And thanks to everyone for all of the great help this past week! Special thanks to St. Luke’s Catholic Church from Middleburg; they made some exquisite soup (thanks Paula!) and did a great job hosting Sunday’s cafe. And to Nansi Carroll and the choir at St. Augustine’s for donating 10 tickets for us to take folks to see their Advent/Christmas concert last Friday! And don’t forget to go see our own Dan Kahn in the Hippodrome’s production of “A Christmas Carol”!

Click here for the rest of what is happening this week at the GCW.

In peace,

John

HOUSE NEWS: Photos from our trip to the SOA Vigil and Action

In what is becoming an annual ritual for our GCW community, about 20 of us went to Ft. Benning, GA from November 21-23, to attend the action and vigil to close the School of the Americas (SOA). Eric Lecompte of SOAWatch had spoken at an early November Roundtable at the GCW, telling us about the SOA’s sordid history of torture training; assassinations and “disappearances” caried out against religious, labor and student activists by SOA graduates in their home countries throughout Latin America; and much more. He also shared with us the nearly 2 decade effort to close the school down, a school paid for by our tax dollars. For more information on the SOA, see www.soaw.org.

Traveling up in three vehicles, we went up to the SOA for the annual action and vigil and to meet Rev. Jon Sobrino, SJ, the sole surviving member of the Jesuit community at the University of Central America in El Salvador. His 6 brother Jesuits, their co-worker and her daughter were all massacred at the hands of SOA graduates in 1989 for their work amongst El Salvador’s impoverished masses.  It was a positive experience for both newcomers and those of us who had been many times before. The weekend includes a mock funeral procession on Sunday, where thousands of us holding white crosses process to the gates of Ft. Benning as the names of the tens of thousands who have been documented to have died at the hands of graduates of the SOA are read aloud. It is a powerful and moving experience.

Click here to see the photos from our trip.

HOUSE NEWS: Going to Haiti, Anarcho-Primitivism, Advent and more!

Dear friends,

Our apologies for the recent lack of communication from us at the GCW. Things got a little busy, we went to the SOA (we’ll have photos up next week), then Thanksgiving week was upon us, and we simply didn’t find the time to get on the website and keep everyone abreast of what was going on. But we are back–Haiti, anarcho-primitivism, Advent. . . Come on, there’s really something for everyone this week! To jump right to the schedule for this week without the commentary below, feel free to click here.

We need some extra help this week! Patrick is off to Haiti this week on a one-person fact-finding delegation for Pax Christi USA, so we’re going to be a little short-handed, especially at Tuesday’s cafe, this week. If you can drop by and give us a few hours anytime Tuesday, between 10am and 6pm, we would be very grateful! And look for a Roundtable on Patrick’s trip to Haiti sometime in the spring semester.

Speaking of Roundtables. . . Rusty Poulette, GCW regular and staff member of the Presbyterian-Disciples Student Center, will be our speaker at the Roundtable this Thursday beginning at 6pm. Rusty spent some time with Friend of the GCW Ched Myers, a scripture scholar from LA, recently at a conference on “anarcho-primitivism.” Anarcho-Primitivism is a radical critique of civilization that has surfaced in the last few decades in response to our ecological crisis. New anthropological evidence suggesting that pre-civilized societies were actually less violent, more leisurely, much more egalitarian and much more ecologically sustainable has gotten many re-thinking the “superiority” of industrial civilization. Interestingly, a handful of theologians are re-reading scripture through this lens to find that the bible may actually be, as one anthropologist said, “the first known resistance literature to the project of civilization.” So join us on Thursday, bring a dish to share if you can, and check out Rusty’s presentation and our discussion.

Advent Morning Prayer: Each weekday at 7:30am, we’ll be doing a short Advent morning prayer, no longer than 30 minutes, if you’d like to join us. Also, if you’re looking for good ideas for prayer-study-action during Advent, check out Pax Christi USA’s website by clicking here.

In peace,

John

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