Catholic Worker Philosophy
One of the most important philosophies of the San Antonio Catholic Worker Community is that of
. In all aspects of Catholic Worker House life we strive to treat our fellow community
members as individuals worthy of our respect, to be thought of as brothers and sisters rather than
as strangers for whom we do charity work. We believe that in this way we can struggle together as a
community to make our surrounding conditions better.
We are also strongly committed to living a lifestyle of nonviolence
. As followers of Christ it is our
sincere belief that violence for any reason is unnecessary and detrimental to humanity; there is
always another, better solution to any problem that may arise. We see the violence and oppression
committed against the poor of our society as directly related to the violence committed against the
poor of all nations. In both cases the effects are the same: hunger, homelessness, and death. Instead,
we perform works of mercy as a bold witness against such violence.
Because we seek to transform conflicts nonviolently in our everyday lives, we also oppose the use of
force in larger conflicts and disputes. Corrupt and evil powers cannot be overcome with force. The
use of force only destroys and leads to more problems. Guided by Christ's words in Matthew 5:43-48,
we seek to love our enemies as our friends. By expressing compassion and treating others with the
respect and dignity in-borne in every person, we seek to move beyond conflict toward a more equitable world where everyone is treated with equal worth.
Simply put, we oppose the use of force to resolve any conflict, whether personal confrontations or
international war. From the very beginning of the Catholic Worker Movement, we have sought to end the
use of force and violence and to promote peaceful means toward peaceful ends. Catholic Workers have
historically stood in opposition to war and conflict in every form around the globe. We work toward
the world seen by the prophet in Isaiah 2:4, where swords are beat into plowshares and spears into
: "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are
members of my family, you did it to me." Matt 25:40
This is perhaps the most often quoted passage of Scripture in the Catholic Worker Movement. It is by
no means the only time that Jesus identifies himself with the poor, however. Nor is it the only time
he admonishes us to serve the poor and take their burdens on as our own. We feel called, therefore,
to follow his example and live out our faith by placing ourselves among those we serve.
Catholic Worker houses of hospitality the world over seek to fulfill specific needs that their
particular communities have. Specifically on the East Side, we see a need for a safe and welcoming space for
folks to be fed physically and spiritually. Because Christ identified himself with the marginalized
and oppressed, it is in their faces and eyes we most expect to encounter him. Our search for a closer
living faith with God calls us to serve Jesus and his family.
For more information on the Catholic Worker Movement, see: www.catholicworker.org