Agitatin’ Catholics on Skid Row



Went downtown this morning (on the advice of Ron Stringer) to the L.A. Catholic Worker soup kitchen on 6th and Gladys. Got there around 7:20 and left at 1:20. Six hours of buttering bread and being in charge of "water flow." I was keeping the three large jugs filled with ice water for the nine hundred or more homeless who look for breakfast or lunch there three days a week. L.A.'s homeless problem is getting worse from the looks of the streets this morning. I hadn't been downtown in a while and hadn't realized that there is a tent city and several appalling square blocks of densely packed humanity. One Catholic worker woman told me there are about 70,000 homeless people here. The corner where the building sits reeks of urine and human feces, but the Catholic Workers keep most of it clean with bleach. The majority of the folks were black. I didn't see anyone trying to make trouble, and I'm told that the homeless themselves are more likely to be victims than perps.


Dorothy Day

The Catholice Worker movement was founded by Dorothy Day, the famous liberation theology agitator, and Peter Maurin.


Catholic Worker logo




The L.A. branch has a paper called the Agitator. While chopping lettuce, I had my by now standard conversation with unreconstructed 60s pacifists and socialists. They assume I think as they do, that all evil resides in the West, and greed is its sin, income redistribution the solution. Well, if I can't exactly sign on completely to that worldview, I can at least join them in working to feed people caught in this all-American gulag.


"Catholic Worker" Photo by Aaron Siskind, ca. 1935-1937 {title="Agitatin’ Catholics on Skid Row" permalink="http://shadowsandclouds.com/index.php/weblog"}

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Posted at 1am on 09/08/2006 | comments are closed Filed Under: Daily

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