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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Big Things, Small Operation

Pie and Coffee has a link and a brief write up about 'Prophetic and Public, The Social Witness of Catholicism' By Kristen E. Heyer. The book sounds interesting so I added it to my Wish List but I wanted to bring attention to the remarks Mike makes on his blog;

"Now a good chunk of Catholic Worker communities are non-profits and/or run big operations, and they a good job of it. I’d never think of complaining about them, but part of what interests me about the Catholic Worker “model” is that it works so well with small-scale, personalist/anarchist efforts. Before coming in contact with the CW, I always assumed that to be effective in doing good you had work with an “official” organization, or else be an extraordinary person. I no longer think either of these is necessary.
I want to do big things, but without a big operation, and Catholic Worker co-founder Dorothy Day is an obvious inspiration here..."

Hear hear! While considering community service my husband and I explored local food pantries, soup kitchens etc. trying to figure out what would fit into our schedule and principles. As we discussed options my husband brought up a women we both were acquainted with in college. He mentioned how she just collected oranges and blankets and on cold nights would wander downtown Philly and give them to homeless people in need. So often in looking for opportunities we fail to take the bull by the horns and make our own opportunity. It will be nice to some day officially attach the moniker "Catholic Worker" to whatever permanent house or farm we inhabit. But until then I can still be a Catholic Worker in the field if I so choose to call myself without having to register with a home office. The beauty of the movement is we can apply its beliefs to the lines at the large soup kitchen or to the family providing for a pregnant teenager in their spare bedroom. Big charities can do a lot of good, but it's reassuring to know, they're not the only ones capable of making a difference. Learn about the movement, get inspired and do something. No business plans or grant proposals needed; just pray.