Karen House Catholic Worker



About Karen House

About the Catholic


The Roundtable

Get Involved




The RoundTable

On Pilgrimage...

Fall 1994

Major Articles

  • One Day at the Worker – Mitch McGee and Annjie Schiefelbein
  • Starting Up – Sue Lauritsen
  • Endless Discussion – Ann Rick
  • Loveliness Amidst Chaos – Chris Butler
  • Ruined for Life – Mary Dutcher
  • The Joy of Giving – Zack Davisson
  • Oasis of Reason – Joe Angert
  • Passing it On – Harriette Baggett
  • Twenty Ways the Worker Influences my Life – Pat Coy
  • The Search Continues – Tom Hooyman
  • Community and Culture – Janet Gray-McKennis

Download Entire Issue by Clicking Image Above


Karen House:

1840 Hogan St.

Saint Louis, MO  63106

Contact Us:



Regular Features

  • Cover –Artwork by Jeff Finnegan
  • Why This Issue – Mark Scheu
  • Centerfold –  The Aims and Means of the Catholic Worker
  • From Abroad – El Salvador – Teresa Jorgen
  • From Little House - Mary Ann McGivern, SL
  • From Karen House – Becky Hassler
  • RoundTable Talk – Teka Childress

Why This Issue:

As I sat down at my desk to devise some introduction to this issue I happened to glance up at a photograph of the Karen House community of some six years ago. There are nine people in that photo, yet only two, Teka and myself, are still in the community today. This startled me. We have always been known as an intentional community, noted for its stability and the longevity of its members. And it would be unfair to characterize the last several years as a period of exceptional change or unsettledness. The reality is that old members are always in the process of moving on and new members always seem to appear, almost providentially, to replace them.


This is not a failing of community life in the Catholic Worker. For most people there comes a moment when there is a growing sense that it is time to move on. The callings that draw us elsewhere vary, from raising a family to pursuing a career, or perhaps simply the discernment that the next assignment that God has intended for us lies elsewhere. Yet I cannot conceive of how anyone whose sojourn has brought them to community life in the Catholic Worker could escape without being profoundly affected, if not transformed. I believe that one cannot help but incorporate in one's life to some degree the values that emanate from Dorothy Day's Gospel vision long after ceasing to be an active member of the community. In that sense, the Catholic Worker movement is planting seeds, leavening the bread of society around us, as disciples whose faith has been enlivened and transformed by their experience in a Catholic Worker community move on to play their humble role in evangelizing the world around them.


This issue gives testament to that truth. Mitch McGee, currently a mainstay at Karen House but formerly of Cass House, joins Annjie Schiefelbein of Karen House, in writing a preface to the series that follows by describing a "typical" day at the house. There follows a rich series of candid reflections from former members Sue Lauritsen, Ann Rick, Harriette Lane Baggett, Zack Davisson, Tom Hooyman, Pat Coy, Joe Angert, Mary Dutcher, Janet Gray McKennis, and Chris Butler. Each shares how the Catholic Worker movement is more than a powerful strand connecting their former lives to the present, but a catalyst which wrought changes in them for which each displays profound gratitude. Their collective testimony further persuades me that the Catholic Worker movement is a remarkable gift that God gave to this country through the lives of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin.


The issue continues with a powerful depiction of El Salvador through the experiences of Teresa Jorgen. The house articles then point to the conclusion of the issue with Teka Childress' essay in the Round Table Talk column. I thought it particularly fitting in an issue devoted to the impact of the Catholic Worker on its own members that Teka then draws it to a close by challenging herself and all catholic Workers to be faithful to Dorothy Day's vision by seeking new ways to confront our society's ills through a radical pursuit of the Gospel.


May God continue to raise up prophets like Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin who will show us how to live out the Gospel in response to the troubled world in which we live.


-Mark Scheu



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