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The RoundTable

Conscience Doth Make Heroes of Us All

Fall 1992

Major Articles

  • Conscience: Inviolable Gift of Transformation – Tom Nelson, CM
  • Interview with Dr. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn: In the Interest of Justice – Ellen Rehg
  • Interview with Doris Hadley: Whether to Give Up or Start All Over – Kris Dennis
  • Interview with Eric Hayes: That the Good Not Be Diminished - Virginia Druhe
  • Interview with Al Sprehe: A Belief in Stewardship – Mark Scheu
  • Conscience and Conscription: The Catholic Worker and World War II – Pat Coy

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Regular Features

  • Why This Issue – Bill Miller
  • Cover – Photographs by Tom Nelson and Mike DeFilppo
  • Centerfold –  Quote from Ammon Hennacy
  • From Karen House – Teka Childress
  • From Little House - Mary Ann McGivern, SL
  • RoundTable Talk – Virginia Druhe

Why This Issue:

In this issue we will explore the faculty of conscience and how it is exemplified in people's lives. We begin with Torn Nelson's thoughtful study on conscience. This theological reflection grounds and informs us in examining this gift of conscience which, if relied on continually, will lead each of us to a greater awareness of our dignity and a fuller experience of our freedom.

Following this foundational analysis are four interviews with people who have allowed their consciences to grow and shape their decisions and lives. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn, Eric Hayes, Doris Hadley, and Al Sprehe each gives us a feeling for how this voice of conscience has influenced their lives. We see such influence spoken in the loud dramatic voice of a major act of resistance and in the ordinarily daily tone of an honest, human encounter.

In this century the Catholic Worker has made and continues to make significant contributions to conscience formation for many people -both Catholics and those holding other creeds and beliefs. Of the many descriptions of Dorothy Day, "a woman of conscience" certainly is one of the most appropriate. Her life is filled with acts of conscience: solidarity with the poor in word and deed, pacifism, tax resistance, and the decision to have her daughter baptized are just a few examples. To elaborate on one of these, we've excerpted from a soon-to--be published article by Pat Coy about the Catholic Worker and conscience formation during World War II.

Lastly, we close our reflections on conscience with the centerfold meditation on love, courage, and wisdom -three virtues that are the fruits of conscientious living.

The regular columns follow, starting with Mary Ann McGivern recounting her summer trip to Guatemala and El Salvador. Then Teka Childress, in her purview of the Karen House neighborhood, wonders about the values of our economic system and how they square with our Christian faith. And in her Round Table Talk, Virginia Druhe considers the solidarity of the people of faith who come together to pray for those who are murdered in our city. With the din of the elections at hand, perhaps some of us would benefit by a word from Dorothy Day; "In what time I have my impulse is to self-criticism and examination of conscience, and I am constantly humiliated at my Own imperfections and at my halting progress."

-Bill Miller



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