Join Us for the Des Moines Catholic Worker’s 40th Anniversary Celebration Aug. 26 - Aug. 28!
The Des Moines Catholic Worker is excited and amazed to be looking back this year at 40 years of community life, hospitality and social justice work in the Riverbend neighborhood of Des Moines. We are sending out this call to new friends and old, far and wide: please join us in this celebration of our history and help us to envision our next 40 years!
Schedule of Events:
Friday, August 26
6 p.m. – Supper: Dingman CW House, 1310 7th St. All are welcome to join the Des Moines Catholic Workers and our guests for our regular Friday night meal.
7:30 p.m. – Fr. Roy Bourgeois “The Struggle for Peace, Justice and Equality”: Trinity United Methodist, 1548 8th St, (3 blocks from the DMCW)
Saturday, August 27
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Picnic, testimonials, music and dancing (open mic): lot across the street from Dingman House (1310 7th)
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Panel Discussion: “What would a more listening and non-judging US Catholic Church look like for Women?” with Fr. Roy and Rev. Janice Sevre-Dusyznska at Trinity United Methodist
7 p.m. – Social/Music/Munchies at Dingman House
Sunday, August 28
8:30 a.m. – Liturgy with Rev. Janice Sevre-Duszynska: lot across the street from Dingman House
“What would a more listening and less judging Church look like?”
“The DMCW community goes on record in support of Fr. Frank Cordaro and the efforts of Iowa Call To Action to reform the Catholic Church. We believe that gender equality of ordained ministry and an inclusive leadership and decision making structure in the Catholic Church is both necessary and desirable. We add our voices to those who urge an open and free discussion within the Church on these matters. We know that Catholic Workers can and do disagree on issues of Church reform, and that in areas of internal Church reform, our Catholic Worker tradition does not take a stand.” – Summer 1997 Via Pacis
In the mid 1990s the Call To Action (CTA) movement, a US-based Catholic Church reform movement (originally started by the US Catholic Bishops in the 1970s!) had a very active chapter in our diocese. Bishop Carron chose to deal with us by not allowing any of the Catholic Church’s properties to host any CTA meetings or programs.
As a Catholic priest and a visible leader in the IA CTA at the time, I got lots of “heat” from the Church. I was threatened with excommunication from the Lincoln, NE Diocese for celebrating Mass at a Lincoln CTA event and banned forever from celebrating Mass, or so much as praying in public in the Lincoln diocese; if I did I would “REALLY BE” excommunicated. The Omaha Archbishop pulled my “priestly faculties” from his diocese and promised do more if I continued to write critical letters about the Church in the Omaha World Herald. My own diocese at the time did nothing to support me and went on record affirming the Nebraska bishop’s authority to do what they were doing.
All this is well documented in the 1997 issues of Via Pacis. And it is in that issue that we find the above DMCW community affirmation for women priests and a call for a more open Church.
[FLASH: in honor of our 40th anniversary, Phil Runkel and the CW Archives at Marquette University have scanned the 40-year run of Via Pacis. PDFs will soon be posted on our web page!]
I dredge this “old stuff’ up to say that these issues of Church reform have been a community priority and focus for a long time and the DMCW has been in open public dispute with our last three local bishops, including Bp. Pates over these issues. (See attached photo and 1979 special women’s Via Pacis, edited by Jacquee Dickey, one of the founding DMCW members and the first to move us in the right direction about women and the Church.)
So it should come as no surprise that given the opportunity we would choose women’s ordination in the Catholic Church as our 40th anniversary theme.
We are excited about the two people we have asked to join us for our celebration: Rev. Janice Sevre-Duszynska and Fr. Roy Bourgeois, both of them friends of many years. We first met Fr. Roy in the early 1980s, before he helped start School of the Americas Watch. Our community met Janice in Des Moines during our 2007 SODaPOP Iowa Caucus campaign. They are longstanding friends with our community and the same claim can be made by many Catholic Worker communities all over the country. Janice and Roy have been arrested with Catholic Workers They have gone to jail with Catholic Workers. Through the years, we Catholic Workers have crossed paths with them on many fronts in the course of our work for peace and justice.
For these reasons, and for so many more, please join us this coming August 26-28 for our 40th anniversary celebration!
For more info contact:
PS – If you are in need of housing for the weekend, floor space will be available throughout the Catholic Worker community. We just need to know the number of people to prepare for. If you need a bed, for sure get a hold of us and we will find you one.