The Catholic Worker Movement
The Catholic Worker movement is kind of hard to define. It was started in depression-era America in New York by Dororthy Day and Peter Maurin, and through the newspaper The Catholic Worker, it eventually spread across the country. The individual communties vary in their actvities, but they all follow the same basic principles. Dan McKanan outlines these principles in his book Touching the World: "Perhaps the most popular introduction to the movement today is a cartoon produced by Chuck Trapkus in which the history and ideals of the movement are related to various school subjects. Under 'Social Studies,' for example, Trapkus wrote that 'the Bid Idea behind the CW is PERSONALISM: being personally responsible for everybody else's problems.' But if a precise definition is impossible, most Worker Communities could endorse the list of four core values identifies by Duluth's Loves and Fishes Catholic Worker: hospitality, resistance, community, and spirituality"(McKanan 14).
The value of hospitality is particularly important, as McKanan writes, "Catholic worker hospitality explained Tom Heuser of Saint Catherine of Genoa Catholic Worker, is "not so much focused on rehabilitation and fixing, looking at people as problem to be fixed but rather people to be celebrated and embraced and to journey with'" (McKanan 14). This idea of the person as somebody "to be cerebrated and embraced" lays the foundations for the idea of vocation, which is "not merely the call to ordination or religious life, but as the process by which every person finds spiritually significant work" (McKanan 37). Through living within the community, people in the Catholic Worker explore many different vocational paths in search of their vocation, which can be as simple a cooking and cleaning the Catholic Worker's house, or as "complex" as holding a part time job in teaching or nursing.
Insofar as Catholic Workers help to find vocation for its members, it can be seen as practicing development as community. Helping people find a vocational path is similar to helping them become fulfilled and fully "free" people. Although their impact on traditional markers of development is difficult to measure, in part by the Catholic Worker's general ambivalence to economic matters, it can be little doubted that the Catholic Worker does develop community amongst a diverse group of people, from drug-addicts to idealistic college students. By doing this, it meet the criteria of development as community.