Pax Christi, Campaign Nonviolence, and Catholic Worker. The LA Affiliates join with Pax Christi in enthusiastically supporting Campaign Nonviolence and Climate Change demonstrations. Los Angeles Affiliates have been among the many volunteers that keep Catholic Worker’s Hippie Kitchen running.
Maryknoll Connections. Some of the Maryknoll Sisters who retire to Monrovia participate in Affiliate activities. Hugh and Jean Menton joined the LA Affiliate Chapter after completing a JustFaith course and participating in a Maryknoll Lay Missioner “Friends Across the Border” trip.
LA Affiliates often help staff the Maryknoll booth at the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. Affiliates who attend the congress from elsewhere are invited to bring a sack lunch and meet at the Maryknoll Booth at noon on Saturday to join the LA Affiliates for their monthly meeting. For information on the LA Congress, which is held annually in February or March at the Anaheim Convention Center, see http://www.recongress.org/.
The LA Chapter’s 2016 meetings have been organized around the Pope’s theme of Mercy. Other meetings have featured a speaker recently returned from mission in Sudan, a film about human trafficking, and examining issues surrounding mental health.
Modern Good Samaritans
Anger, humor, frustration, empathy, and persistence show when Jeff Dietrich tells of seeing the Risen Christ in the homeless. He shares that vision in his readable and inspiring book, The Good Samaritan: Stories from the Los Angeles Catholic Worker on Skid Row (Marymount Institute Press, 2014). For about 40 years, Jeff has been living in community and working at the LA Catholic Worker, a house of hospitality and service to the homeless. He edits the bi-monthly Catholic Worker newspaper, the Catholic Agitator.
Jeff rails against the politics behind removing the port-a-potties Catholic Worker had installed in the downtown area while not providing alternative sanitary facilities for the homeless, and against the policing practice of incarcerating jay-walkers and petty sellers of drugs while doing little to solve the underlying problems.
The Catholic Worker provides shopping carts for the homeless to carry and store their possessions and stimulated a ruling that it is not legal for authorities to seize those carts. The Catholic Worker has instituted a summer program for college students that introduces them to the Catholic Worker life and provides education on social justice issues. Their Hospitality Kitchen, affectionately referred to as The Hippie Kitchen, feeds about 3,000 people every week. Los Angeles Affiliates and Maryknoll Sisters have been among the many volunteers that keep the Kitchen running.
The LA Catholic Worker has spawned a number of sister Catholic Worker Houses which they assist until these “sisters” can be fully independent.