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National CW Farm Gatherings
2011 Gathering In Calaveras County, CA
2013 Gathering in Dubuque, IA
January 2011 Statement
By A Handful of
Catholic Worker Farmers & Gardeners
PREAMBLE in Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When Doctor Martin Luther King Junior opposed the war against Vietnam he
made the following Statement: “When machines and computers, profit motives
and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant
triplets of Racism, extreme Materialism and Militarism are incapable of
being conquered.” King predicted that if America did not change its course she
would be beset by war after war. True to King's prediction we have been in
war after war, and are currently mired down in two bloody wars in Afghanistan
and Iraq, while the unholy Pentagon plans more wars! One of the most direct ways we are pulled into these wars is by
our mechanized agricultural system that is the largest single consumer of
fossil fuels, and to keep that system intact our government secures
these resources by war.
It is with these shameful truths in mind that we make the following STATEMENT:
On this, the 75th anniversary of Catholic Worker farms, we urban gardeners and rural farmers have gathered in Sheep Ranch, California to celebrate the spirit of Peter Maurin—co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement with Dorothy Day.
All of God’s children deserve access to healthy food, yet hunger, malnutrition and starvation continue to harm people across the planet. Contemporary problems of hunger, mental illnesses, climate change, environmental degradation, industrial food production, and social alienation are interrelated. These challenges can be overwhelming, but our experiences have taught us that the vision of Peter Maurin is now more relevant than ever before.
Peter Maurin put out the call for a Green Revolution consisting of round-table discussions, houses of hospitality, and farming communes. Although houses of hospitality have been the most notable aspect of the Catholic Worker movement, many of us have experienced the need for Catholic Worker farming communities and urban gardens to help us more fully realize Peter Maurin’s vision. Peter encouraged us to follow the way of Jesus Christ as servant rather than master, spending our energy in decentralized food production methods.
To this end, we support the following sustainable practices across North America: utilization of heirloom seeds, conversion of abandoned places into community gardens, local production of organic food, creation of biointensive and permaculture farms and urban gardens. We support the resistance to industrial farming in a movement toward restoring localized production and distribution of healthy organic food.
We acknowledge the momentum of movements calling for a restructuring of our agricultural system and we applaud these efforts. We challenge ourselves, the Catholic Worker movement, the Church, people of all faith traditions, and all people of goodwill to promote sustainable ways of living.
11 January 2011
Contact: Chris Montesano 209.728.2159
75th Anniversary of Catholic Worker Farms
Calaveras County, CA
Members of Catholic Worker farms and urban houses of hospitality gathered this past week for a celebration of Peter Maurin’s prophetic vision for a new society in the shell of the old. Peter Maurin co-founded the Catholic Worker in New York City in 1933 with Dorothy Day. Three years later the first Catholic Worker farming commune opened in New York. For the 75th Anniversary of the first Catholic Worker farming commune, 21 people gathered in the remote Sierra foothills of California for workshops and discussions.
Today the Catholic Workers gathered in Calaveras County (6 miles from Sheep Ranch) issued a statement reiterating and updating Peter Maurin’s vision in modern language, calling for more urban gardens and local organic farming communities. Urban gardeners and rural farmers came from Catholic Worker communities in California, Colorado, Montana, Wisconsin, Iowa and New Mexico. Richard Bishop of Bitterroot Catholic Worker Farm, MT said, “The beauty of Peter Maurin’s vision has not been realized. All of our discussions need to be illuminated by Peter’s prophetic teachings.”