Karen House Catholic Worker



About Karen House

About the Catholic


The Roundtable

Get Involved




The RoundTable

St. Louis: A Tale of One City

Winter 1998


Major Articles

  • A Tale of One Neighborhood - Teka Childress
  • Just Sprawl? – Michael Goeke
  • Immigrants: Reaping the Benefits – Angie O’Gorman
  • Sharing the Burdens – Patrick McCarthy
  • Indigent Health Care in Crisis- Becky Hassler
  • Charity and Justice in the St. Louis Catholic Church – Mary Dutcher

Download Entire Issue by Clicking Image Above


Karen House:

1840 Hogan St.

Saint Louis, MO  63106

Contact Us:



Regular Features

  • Cover – Artwork Larry Nolte
  • Why This Issue – Carol Giles
  • Centerfold –  Why I Love Living in St. Louis - Artwork Jeff Finnegan
  • From Little House - Mary Ann McGivern, SL
  • From Abroad – Philippines – Rey Lopez
  • RoundTable Talk – Mark Scheu
  • From Karen House - Celeste Gaudreault
  • From Our Mailbag

Why This Issue:

Much has been written in history, literature, and the social sciences about cities, their origins and development, and the forces that have shaped their rise, decline, and possible rebirth. Such an exhaustive, grand sweep is not the reason for this issue. Rather, as the title indicates, the focus is on one city, St. Louis, and some of the issues which it faces. But that has a very detached ring to it. It is really not the anonymous "city" which faces the issues. Its people do so. We do so.


Two of the articles included focus on St. Louis' ethnic communities. Patrick McCarthy describes his work with Bosnian refugees in St. Louis and asks us to be mindful of the genocide which forced them from their homeland. Angie O'Gorman notes that immigrants are survivors from whom all of us have much to learn. Both articles emphasize that we need each other, we are all connected. To hear some of the immigrants' own voices, there are quotes from Ron Klutho's students in his English as a Second Language (ESL) class at Forest Park Community College. They and others offer their reasons for enjoying living in St. Louis.


Mike Goeke begins his discussion of justice issues around urban sprawl in St. Louis with some historical background and statistics. He goes on to flesh out the problems posed to the poor who remain in the central city and inner-ring suburbs when resources are reallocated to accommodate urban sprawl. The solutions he proposes are persuasive.

In "Round Table Talk," Mark Scheu notes the community he has found among regular riders on his daily Bi-State Metrolink commute. He also suggests commuting on public transport as an answer to the pollution created by one one car/one driver commuting that is fostered by urban sprawl.


Both Teka Childress and Mary Ann McGivern are known for their long-term commitments to global, national, and local peace and justice issues. Here they offer different visions of how to carry that commitment forward. In her article on urban development, Teka expresses concern that residents of the Karen House neighborhood should have a voice in planning its development. Mary Ann presents a range of reasons for helping the poor escape the city.


In Becky Hassler's article about health care in St. Louis she outlines the events that have led to St. Louis' current crisis in health care for the poor. She eloquently puts a human face on this crisis by describing the difficulties encountered by one uninsured man in getting what should have been routine health care.


Mary Dutcher distinguishes between acts of justice and charity in the St. Louis Catholic Church. She notes examples of both in St. Louis' past. She challenges and encourages us to seek justice in the present and to continue doing so in the future.


In "From Karen House" Celeste Gaudreault reflects, among other things, on the role of Karen House to its guests and those coming to the side door for sandwiches. For her, Karen House is a "true microcosm" of the world at large.


The opinions expressed by the writers in this Round Table are diverse, discussing both the merits of living in St. Louis and the problems we face. But the writers share a common thread. They are all guided by a deep concern about and love for the poor in our midst. That is something from which we could all learn.

-Carol Giles



The RoundTable is 24 pages long.  To download, you'll need the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat.

Download Adobe Acrobat 8 here (it's easy AND free!)


Search all of the RoundTable issues for an author, subject or title here:

Google search
WWW www.karenhousecw.org