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The St. Louis Catholic Worker hopes to build a world where it is easier to be good, a world where each has according to their needs and gives according to their abilities, a world where interactions between peoples and communities is direct and personal and is governed by Love and concern for the common good rather than harmful institutions such as extractive capitalism or a militarized, carceral state.

To this end we advocate:

-Clarification of thought: to know where we are, how we got here, and where it is we should be going

-Mutual Aid: to share from our excess and receive in our need through direct and reciprocal interaction with our human family

-Resistance: to oppose oppression wherever it is found

The revolution we propose would be non-violent, decentralized, sustainable, soil based, abolitionist, personalist, communitarian, spirit led, and immediate.We hope that all people of goodwill might join this effort in their own place and context so that we might together help to build a new society in the shell of the old.


What is the STL Catholic Worker Community? 


The St. Louis Catholic Worker is an emerging branch of the broader Catholic Worker movement. We believe in mutual aid, radical education for the transformation of ourselves and society, and resistance to oppression wherever it is found.

We are currently working to open a “house of hospitality” in our CW tradition where we will live simply in community with each other as well as with folks who would otherwise be unhoused. 

Our core group is currently made up of 3 folks with decades of experience doing this work in other places, both within and beyond the Catholic Worker movement.

- Theo Kayser has lived at the Los Angeles, Cherith Brook, and Karen House CW communities. He co-hosts the Coffee with Catholic Workers podcast and is the Catholic Worker page editor at Geez magazine.

- Chrissy Kirchhoefer is formerly of the Kabat House and Columbia, Missouri CWs and works as outreach consultant to the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee.

- Lindsey Myers is an alumni of the Phoenix CW and Strangers and Guests CW Farm who works at Assisi House where she helps support formerly unhoused folks. She currently lives in the Sophia House community. 

Cool. But what’s this “Catholic Worker” thing?

Founded in New York in 1933, the Catholic Worker sprang from the vision of radical journalist and Catholic convert Dorothy Day and French peasant and primary theorist Peter Maurin.

Amidst the Great Depression, they advocated as their pillars: 

  • clarification of thought- to know where we were, how we got there, and where we need to be going

  • houses of hospitality- to provide for the immediate needs of the under resourced amongst our human family

  • a redistribution of the means of production- paired with a reorientation away from centralized industrialism and towards more localized economies with direct worker ownership, including importantly in the production of food

The Catholic Worker vision and philosophy is broad and multifaceted (Theo is always ready to discuss it in more details if you reach out to him!) and has historically included influence from and affinity for: anarchism, organized labor, anti-militarism and pacifism, Catholic Social Teaching, distributism, anti-capitalism, simple living, and craft. 

In recent years there have been CWers exploring how the movement’s strong peace and justice tradition might be applied to oppression that has been less often explored by the CW historically including in relation to settler-colonialism, racism, climate change, and the militarization of the police.

As a decentralized anarchist movement, there is no headquarters deciding who is or is not a Catholic Worker. When a person or community find themselves sufficiently influenced by the broader CW community and its tradition they can simply claim the title. This self identification paired with a broad scope of thought and practice throughout the movement means that different CWs will emphasize or even sometimes disregard different aspects of the CW philosophy.

You might find us St. Louis Catholic Workers living out the CW philosophy by supporting the call for a ceasefire in Gaza, the movement to Save Weelaunee Forest and Stop Cop City, individuals avoiding paying taxes for war, or efforts to protect Native land at Oak Flat from copper mining. But you’re also just as likely to find us out sharing food with hungry folks, supporting our recently housed friends, growing our own vegetables, or hosting a potluck as blocking the entrance to a nuclear weapons base or a Boeing bomb factory.

What about that “Catholic” piece?

While there are no official ties between the Catholic Worker movement and the institutional Roman Catholic Church (though individual communities may have a variety of working relationships within their local diocese), the seeds of our tradition are found there in the deep Catholicism of our founders. Dorothy and Peter believed that many of society’s ills could be solved by advocating Catholic social thought. 

Indeed, there are many worthwhile tidbits to be found in this tradition from the abolition of nuclear weapons and the arms trade to the social good of labor unions to care for creation and the moral responsibility to address climate change seriously. Unfortunately, when we go to church we don’t hear that showing up on the picket line or protecting the environment described as important Catholic practice.

As with almost everything about the CW movement you will find different levels of commitment to the institutional church from community to community or even person to person within a community. While folks who identify with or were at least raised in Catholicism are highly represented, there are CWers of all sorts of faith and non-faith traditions. There may have even been 1 or 2 who identify as Jedi!

We in the core of the STL Catholic Worker Community were all raised within Christian traditions and today all find inspiration in the teachings of Jesus in our own ways. Feel free to ask us individually when you see us at a potluck or something!

We StL CWs understand Jesus to emerge from a religious tradition that says God sides with slaves against oppressive governments (in the Exodus story of the Hebrew people leaving Egypt) as well as a colonized person executed as an insurrectionist by the state with collaborationist social/religious elites. 

We don’t believe that Christianity is the only show in town though and don’t set out to convert anyone in the “you need to be saved and go to heaven” kind of way. We especially deplore the way our under-resourced friends are forced to sit through prayer to receive essential services. We don’t believe in pushing our political or religious views as ransom for the necessities of life. 

We do hope to convert Christians and their institutions to lives of concern for our neighbors and the common good as well as call them to repent for harm done to indigenous societies, our lgbtqia2+ family, peoples of other faiths, and women generally.

Want to read more about our formation? Check out:

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We're hoping to buy a house and we need your help!

  Check out our GoFundMe! Financial gifts can be sent to the STL Catholic Worker Community (c/o Sophia House): 4547 Gibson Ave, St. Louis MO 63110. Checks can be made out to “STL Catholic Worker Community.” Electronic gifts can be directed towards Theo's venmo or PayPal @TheoKayser or our go fund me .  ------ "Have you found a place yet? I know someone with nowhere to stay.”  “I wish the Catholic Worker in St. Louis was up and running, I’m aware of a mother and daughter in need of housing for a few nights.”  Ever since we announced our plans to open a new Catholic Worker house in the St. Louis area we’ve received inquiries like these.   We live in a world where a handful of billionaires control as much wealth as 4 billion people and so people go without housing, without food and water, without healthcare. People die.  In our own city those without housing have slept on the very doorstep of city hall, until they were unceremoniously evicted. Our city government mirrors that of

first issue of the StL CW newsletter "In the Shell of the Old" available

In the Shell of the Old issue 1 pdf download

StL CW newsletter #2 !

  Check out issue #2 of our humble zine, In The Shell of The Old.    In this issue: - Lindsey on Hope - theo on his time at Oak Flat - what we've been upto - an appeal to help us purchase a house   Download the full pdf here .