Saturday, March 20, 2004

Spend Wednesday and Thursday helping at the Des Moines Catholic Worker. There are four houses within a one block area; we helped at Dingman, the main house, where the meals are served.

They are closed on Wednesdays, so Tonia, Andy, Ryan, and I did various and much-needed jobs around the house. We scrubbed the bathrooms (one of my areas of expertise), cleaned the upstairs office, and organized the basement food pantry. Thursday we did hospitality by helping to prepare and serve lunch and washing dishes. After the meal, we helped get their Via Pacis publication ready for distribution.

The community members are a diverse and colorful bunch. Frank Cordaro, the resident warrior for peace, recently left the priesthood after 18 years; Carla Dawson is the fiery spark of the community and has been ablaze there for 15 years; the juggler and showman, Bill Petsche, provides his fair share of the laughter; Eddie Bloomer is the diligent saint who lives out the corporal works of mercy. There is Norman, who has been involved with the Catholic Worker Movement all over the country for thirty years; Tom, who had been walking across America for peace and campaigning for Kucinich with his 14 year old son, Tack; and several others.

Two days was not enough time to spend with these faithful people or to connect with those whom they serve. I've been contemplating service work after graduation; maybe the Catholic Worker is one possibility.