Te Kaupapa of The Catholic Worker

Members of Te Wairua Maranga Trust have since 1989 been operating a community following a Catholic Worker philosophy. While ecumenical in personnel and outreach, members of the Catholic Worker follow a spirituality inspired by the teachings of Christ and consistent with the major social teachings of the Catholic Church. Our movement was founded in 1933 by Dorothy Day, a US journalist, and Peter Maurin, a French-born pilgrim and labourer. After opening a house of hospitality for the homeless in New York, they founded a monthly newspaper The Catholic Worker, which , more than 75 years later, continues to have a print run. There are currently more than 100 independent CW houses of hospitality scattered in many countries but mainly found in the United States.

The manifesto of the Catholic Worker highlights a commitment to pacifism, personal responsibility for the welfare of our poor and destitute neighbour, the promotion of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy as found in the Gospels, and the living out of the Beatitudes in daily life. In an often violent materialist culture dominated by militarism and huge centralised bureaucracies and institutions, we promote non-violence and a ‘small is beautiful’ approach to life, practice co-operative work and peacemaking, focus on issues of justice, support prison ministry, help create intentional communities, try to live voluntary poverty and practice personalism. Non-violent resistance to oppressive social structures is also practiced when appropriate.

The Catholic Worker in Aotearoa/New Zealand views the Treaty of Waitangi as the nation’s founding document and our social analysis stems partly from our understanding of the Treaty and our reading of ‘the signs of the times’ as mandated at Vatican Council II.

In Christchurch, we operate three houses of hospitality named after Suzanne Aubert, Thomas Merton and Joseph Cardijn, and the Promised Land farm outside Leeston. We engage in regular prayer, seek to support one another, and publish a quarterly journal The Common Good. We offer hospitality to people in need either on a temporary or more permanent basis. We have a continuing outreach to a number of families offering friendship and support and we support actions for justice in a variety of forms.

We celebrate a liturgy followed by a shared meal every Wednesday evening at 6pm at Suzanne Aubert House, 8a Cotterill Street, Addington, Christchurch, ph 03 338 7105. Anyone is welcome.

Catholic Workers also operate Clarehouse, a house of hospitality in Opononi (phone 09 405 8209) on the Hokianga Harbour, and St Francis of Assisi CW Farm in Whirinaki, also on the Hokianga in Northland.

We do not seek funding from traditional sources. Trusting in Providence, we hope to receive enough to keep our houses of hospitality open and our various works going. Catholic Worker houses do not issue tax receipts since we are running neither a business nor a church social agency. We invite people to participate personally and unconditionally.

All correspondence may be addressed to:
The Catholic Worker,
P O Box 33-135,
New Zealand,

or phone Francis 03 338 7105.

Should you wish to make a contribution, regular or otherwise, you may do so through our Te Wairua Maranga Trust holding account at Westpac Trust ­ 03 1703 0036346 ­ 01.

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