The Catholic Worker Movement began on May 1, 1933 when a journalist named Dorothy Day and a philosopher named Peter Maurin got together to publish the first edition of The Catholic Worker newspaper, which examined politics, culture, economics and daily living in the context of biblical ideals like justice, mercy, compassion, and peace.
Grounded in the firm belief in the God-given dignity of every human person, the movement embraced nonviolence, voluntary poverty and the “Works of Mercy” as a way of life. Soon they were putting their beliefs into action – opening a “house of hospitality” where the homeless, the hungry, and the forsaken would always be welcome.
Today there are over 200 Catholic Worker communities around the world dedicated to living the social dimension of the Gospel by serving and living with the impoverished, struggling for social and economic justice, and working for peace.
The Gainesville Catholic Worker started in October 2000, when a group of us rented a small house in the Pleasant Street Neighborhood. We began serving breakfasts at area labor pools at the request of day laborers, preparing and serving a weekly meal for homeless people at the St. Francis House Homeless Shelter, and offering overnight hospitality to people who needed shelter. We bought our current house, the Green House, in July 2004, expanding our projects and hosting an intentional, live-in community of students, formerly homeless men and women, and others, welcoming our first guest in September of that year.
We are inspired by the model of early Christian communities and by the witness of Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin and Catholic Worker communities throughout the U.S. We strive to live as an intentional, faith-based community committed to a life of prayer, scripture study and culture critique; to stand in solidarity with those who are impoverished; to live simply and engage in an alternative economy rooted in biblical principles; to resist the violence and injustice of our culture through public witness and protest; to offer space for alternative discipleship formation and deeper theological reflection.
Recently, we had to close our house of hospitality (“the Green House”) but we are exploring new ways of continuing on as a community without the house. We hope someday to have a house of hospitality once more. We invite you to join us in keeping the flame alive till then.
To be added to our weekly email list and be kept apprised of GCW events, send us an email at gvillecw(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Check out the “This Month” link for specifics regarding projects and volunteer opportunities during the upcoming month!
For more information on what we do or how you can get involved, please contact us at:
Gainesville Catholic Worker
P.O. Box 12573
Gainesville, FL 32604
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