Karen House Catholic Worker



About Karen House

About the Catholic


The Roundtable

Get Involved




The RoundTable

Practices of Hope, Practices of Joy

Spring 2005

Major Articles

  • Brian Terrell – Strangers & Guests Catholic Worker Farm in Maloy, Iowa
  • Jenny Truax – Karen House Catholic Worker in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Kathy Kelly – Voices in the Wilderness in Chicago and Baghdad
  • Shelley Douglass – Mary’s House Catholic Worker in Birmingham, Alabama
  • John Roarick – Catholic Worker Farm in Sheep Ranch, California
  • Sue Frankel-Streit – Little Flower Catholic Worker Farm in Trevilians, Virginia
  • Ruth Woodring – Pedal People in Northampton, Massachusetts
  • Judy Sausen – Loves and Fishes Catholic Worker in Duluth, Minnesota
  • Michael Latsch – Loaves and Fishes Catholic Worker in Duluth, Minnesota
  • Eric Anglada – St. Jude Catholic Worker in Champaign, Illinois
  • Jane Sammon – Maryhouse Catholic Worker in New York City
  • Frank Cordaro – Phil Berrigan Catholic Worker House in Des Moines, Iowa

Download Entire Issue by Clicking Image Above

(large image - takes a minute!)


Karen House:

1840 Hogan St.

Saint Louis, MO  63106

Contact Us:



Regular Features

  • Cover – Artwork from Jason Gonzales
  • Why This Issue – Ellen Rehg
  • Centerfold – Present Moments in St. Louis  - Jenny Truax
  • From Abroad – Haiti - Christen Parker, Rodney Yarnal
  • Farewell to Mary Ann McGivern – Teka Childress
  • From Karen House – Becky Hassler
  • From Little House – Mary Ann McGivern, SL

Why This Issue:

This winter, for the first time, we heated our home using a wood stove. And that, in a nutshell, is how this issue came about. My husband Bill was less than enthusiastic about our entry into 18th -and back- century heating, and for good reason. He knows that the old adage, "Man proposes, woman disposes," is often turned around in our household. He also pointed out, correctly, that we have fur too much on our plates already with our and our three children's busy lives to take on all the work a wood stove entails. The only practical value of the stove would be in our (greatly) reduced heating bills.


And yet, the draw of getting one was irresistible to me. Even after Sharon McMullen Orlet, despite encouraging me to get one, could not give me one good solid reason for doing so. "Is it hard getting wood all the time?" I asked her. “Yeah," she replied. "It's a real drag". But then she added something about how it was about lifestyle, and isn't heating your home with wood lovely?


It is lovely. As I tell everyone, it's only been one year, so my tune may change, but I have loved every aspect of having one. I loved heading out in my car or a friend's truck with Bill to pick up wood from a friendly donor. (It turns out there are people out there trying to get rid of wood.) I loved having this uninterrupted, mostly childless time with my husband. I loved learning that the insides of trees look different depending on the tree, and that each tree also has a distinctive aroma. I loved having little insights, like, so that s why Cinderella was so dirty, as I swept (and swept and swept) our hearth. And one day, as I bent to put a log on the fire, I realized, this is somehow saving me. Something deep within my soul is getting nurtured through this practice.


And so, we thought to pose the question to a variety of people from Catholic Worker Houses across the country: what are some practices that are sources of joy and hope for you? We have published their responses in the following pages. The answers are varied, but all express the joy which comes from responding to a need or call deep within one's soul. Additionally, we have our Karen House article and From Abroad, and in a historic departure for us, we bring a farewell to our dear friend and fellow worker, Mary Ann McGivern. She bas been here at the St. Louis Catholic Worker since it’s founding, and we will greatly miss her cheerful and wise presence. May she find new saving practices that bring her hope and joy.


-Ellen Rehg



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