Karen House Catholic Worker



About Karen House

About the Catholic


The Roundtable

Get Involved




The RoundTable


Winter 1985

Major Articles

  • Work and the Worker – Michael McIntyre
  • Liberation and Labor – Thomas M. Jeannot
  • Easy Essays – Peter Maurin
  • A Musician’s Labor – Ron Krash
  • Casting My Ballot for God’s Reign – Mark Scheu

Download Entire Issue by Clicking Image Above


Karen House:

1840 Hogan St.

Saint Louis, MO  63106

Contact Us:



Regular Features

  • Why This Issue – Ellen Rehg
  • From Little House – Mary Ann McGivern, S.L.
  • From Cass House – Not Given
  • From Karen House – Lee Carter

Why This Issue:

“You need to start looking for a job.” How many times have I addressed these words to a guest, my feeble and somewhat shamefaced delivery belying the urgency of my words? For I know full well that this fifty to sixty year old woman is virtually unemployable. With no other choice, she has worked hard all her life raising children and has now either outlived her husband or separated from him. Perhaps she has never worked for pay, since her husband supported her, or perhaps she has only worked at low-paying “pink collar” jobs. Now with her children grown, her husband gone, and no income--she is homeless. Yet she has worked hard all her life; why must she now suffer the hardships of destitution because her work does not pay?


The issue of labor has, from the beginning, been a pressing concern of the Catholic Worker, as the research contained in Mike McIntyre’s lead article shows. Tom Jeannot presents a report on a current issue in the church today, the dialogue concerning Marxist analysis as a legitimate tool for liberation theology and as an analysis of labor. As the excerpts from John Paul II's encyclical illustrate, the Pope has created a compelling theory of human labor which contributes to the ongoing “Christian-Marxist dialogue.”


The “Easy Essays” we have chosen complement the ideas expressed in these articles. In his own inimitable style, Peter Maurin exposes the ultimate similarity between unionized labor and the owners of production. He also reminds us of the intimate connection between work and art, hearkening back to a time when work was art. Ron Krash conveys his reflections as a “responsible worker" i.e., an artist, one who still “owns” his work.


Lest we become too myopic in our view of labor as industrialized, Mary Ann McGivern~ in the Little House article, snares her thoughts on the recent developments in the United Farm Workers I struggle. We have enclosed a UFW grape boycott postcard in each issue and ask you to illustrate your support to the renewed boycott by sending the card back to the UFW. We close with a timely article by Mark Scheu on the relationship between faith and politics.


In this issue, we bring you the theory of labor, and in our houses we daily confront the reality of Lady Poverty. St. Francis' appellation appropriately points to the overwhelmingly female face of unpaid labor in our country. I hope for a time when the Catholic Worker vision is fully realized and I no longer must urge our guests back into the system which has victimized them.

-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