August 6 Peace Witness

Commemorating the U.S. Nuclear Bombings

of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Dear Friends,
Please join with the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and other peacemakers for a nonviolent peace witness to commemorate the U.S. nuclear bombings of Japan on August 6 and August 9, 1945, and to call for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. See details below. Please share with other friends.


During this time of commemoration, we pray and act in solidarity with peacemakers worldwide calling for nuclear abolition, including those in Japan, the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) who will be at the Nuclear Weapons Complex at Oak Ridge, TN, Tri-Valley Cares and other groups who will be at Lawrence Livermore Labs in CA, all those attending the National Campaign for Nonviolence national conference in Santa Fe, NM and who will be at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and all who are participating in the International Fast for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.


Seventy years ago the U.S. government did the “unspeakable” and dropped atomic bombs on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Please join in a nonviolent witness as we seek to remember the pain, repent the sin and reclaim the future.

When and Where:

Thursday, August 6 (Anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and the feast of the Transfiguration): nonviolent witness at the Pentagon. Meet on corner of Army-Navy Drive and S. Eads St. @

6:45 a.m. Witness from 7:00 – 8:30 a.m. (8:15 a.m. was the actual time of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima)

Please Join Us!

For more info contact: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker–202-882-9649,

Published in: on July 14, 2015 at 9:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ending the Crime of Torture–Support TASSC During Torture Survivors Week: June 24-27

Speaker: Herman Wainggai
Date: Friday, June 5, 2015 @ 7:30 p.m.
Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20010.
Herman Wainggai, is a visiting scholar at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Fairfax, Virginia. He is a politician, diplomat and a leader in West Papua’s self determination struggle. And he represents the Federal Republic of West Papua at the United Nations in New York. Herman is also member of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) and will speak about his experience as a torture survivor. The mission of TASSC, the only organization founded by and for torture survivors, is to end the practice of torture wherever it occurs and to empower survivors, their families and communities wherever they are.
Please join TASSC in celebrating its 18th Annual June Torture Survivors’ Week from June 24-27th. Please join and support the TASSC vigil on June 27th at Lafayette Park across from the White House. For more info please see:
Please join us!
For more info contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649 or 202-360-6416.
Published in: on May 29, 2015 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Celebrating 82 Years of the Catholic Worker

Speaker:  Bill Frankel-Streit, Member of the Little Flower Catholic Worker in Louisa, VA

Date: Friday, May 1, 2015 @ 7:30 p.m.


Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20010


On May 1, 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, The Catholic Worker newspaper made its debut with a first issue of 2,500 copies. The paper provided a radical critique of the political and social order from the perspective of the Gospel and Catholic social teaching. Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin and several others distributed the paper in Union Square for a penny a copy (still the price) to passersby. The Catholic Worker Movement is grounded in a firm belief in the God-given dignity of every human person. Today, over 200 Catholic Worker communities in the U.S. and abroad, remain committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and foresaken. Catholic Workers practice the works of mercy and peace and protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms.


Please join us in an evening of sharing and celebration that will be led by long-time Catholic Worker and peacemaker, Bill Frankel-Streit. Bill and his wife, Sue, were formerly members of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker for ten years before moving with their family to rural central Virginia to start the Little Flower Catholic Worker.

For more information contact Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 202-882-9649, 202-360-6416

Published in: on April 24, 2015 at 7:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Holy Week Faith and Resistance Retreat in D.C.–Seven Arrested at Good Friday Pentagon Witness

Dear Friends,

From Holy Thursday morning to Good Friday, some 25 friends gathered in D.C. for the annual Holy Week Faith and Resistance retreat sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and Jonah House communities. We were especially blessed to have with us students from Loras College from Iowa and members of the New Jerusalem Community from Philadelphia. The theme of the retreat was: “Put Away the Sword.” Holy Thursday was a day of reflection, sharing, action planning and Liturgy. Good Friday was a day of public witness.


The retreat began with a communal Gospel sharing of Matthew 26: 36-56, led by Ted Walker. After lunch, Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst, peacemaker and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, gave a powerful presentation about his journey from being in the CIA for 27 years to becoming a Gospel peacemaker and truth-teller. His talk, interspersed with song, prayer, stories, video footage, and Irish wit and humor, included a powerful expose about how government lies are consistently used to justify its horrific warmaking ventures—from Vietnam to now. He addressed how the corporate controlled media manipulates and distorts the news. He also spoke of the government’s ruthless and vindictive attempts to stifle dissent and persecute whistle-blowers, like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, whom he has personally met with. His insights and stories regarding state criminality and whistle-blowing friends were truly illuminating!

In the evening, Bill Frankel-Streit from the Little Flower Catholic Worker, led a Holy Thursday Liturgy which included spirit-filled singing led by Loras students, a moving foot-washing ritual and inspiring reflections on the Gospel and its meaning for us today.

On Good Friday, a nonviolent public witness was held at the Pentagon. At 7:00 a.m. the community processed from Army-Navy Dr. to the police designated protest zone with signs and small crosses with the names of different victims in our society and world written on them, and singing “Let Me Be An Instrument Of Your Peace.”  As hundreds of Pentagon employees  streamed  into work and numerous police were on hand, seven of our community remained on the Pentagon sidewalk (where we are subject to arrest) and held an “adoration of the cross” before a small cross with the inscription: “2015– Suffering Humanity.” We prayed: “We Adore You O Christ and We Bless You, Because By Your Holy Cross You Have Redeemed the World.”  Simultnaeously, the rest of the community proceeded into the designated “protest zone.” A huge banner that said: “U.S. Empire Crucifies Humanity” was displayed on the grassy slope overlooking the metro entrance. A retreatant, dressed in a black robe, standing on a crate, with arms outstretched on a large cross,  wore a sign: “Victim of Militarism.” Our leaflet was read and a reflection about militarism and Jesus being nailed to the cross today, written by Leonardo Boff, were read aloud.  In between the readings there was silence and singing “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord.”

After about ten minutes, those who were praying on the sidewalk were arrested, taken to the Pentagon Police processing center, and released after several hours.  They were charged with “failure to comply with a lawful order” and have a court date for June 4, 2015.

At noon-time, as a light rain fell, retreatants held a “contemporary crucifixion” on Pennsylvania Ave. directly in front of the White House, as many tourists looked on. See below the reflections that were read for each of the eleven crucified victims as they, wearing black robes, took turns, standing on a crate, with arms outstretched on the cross. After each victim came off the cross we sang: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord.” Our leaflet was also read to begin the witness, and a reading about how Jesus is being crucified today, by Leonardo Boff, was offered to conclude it. The Loras students began and ended the witness with singing “Let Me Be An Instrument of Peace.” We ended our witness and retreat by sharing a sign of peace.

Let us pray for each other during this Holy Season, and for all those in our world who are experiencing at this very moment the passion and death of Jesus. And let us be transformed by the cross and resurrection of Jesus as we seek to practice resurrection and be living signs of hope for our world.

In peace and gratitude, Art

Those Arrested:

Nancy Gowen

Bill Frankel-Streit

Eve Tetaz

Sr. Margaret McKenna

Joe Byrne

David Eberhardt

Art Laffin



Script of Crucified Victims and Desecrated Earth


Today is Good Friday, the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Today, vast numbers of God’s global family experience a modern form of crucifixion as they are crucified to a cross of war, racism, militarism and economic exploitation. In the crucified people of our world we see the crucified face of Jesus. Today, we remember the victims who have been and continue to be crucified and deemed expendable, and call for an immediate end to their crucifixion. We also pray for an end to the desecration of our sacred earth.


Crucified Person #1–Iraq War Victim 
For 24 years the U.S. waged an unrelenting war against Iraq. We pray, O God, for the nearly 2 million Iraqis who have died since 1991–crucified to a cross of bombings, invasion, occupation and U.S.-UN led sanctions. We pray for the countless millions injured and the over 4 million displaced. We repent for the U.S. destroying an entire society, traumatizing a generation of Iraqis and setting into motion a spiral of violence and political upheaval which, in part, created the conditions for the rise of the Islamic State. We call for all CIA and U.S. military personnel and security contractors to leave Iraq immediately, and that the U.S. beg forgiveness from and make reparations to the Iraqi people.


Crucified Person #2–Afghanistan war victim
Since the U.S. began its criminal military intervention in Afghanistan in 2001, thousands of Afghan civilians have suffered and died. We pray for all those Afghans who have been, and continue to be, crucified to a cross of ruthless U.S. military occupation. We pray and work for an immediate end to the immoral and illegal U.S. war in Afghanistan, for the withdrawl of all military and CIA personnel, and that the U.S. beg forgiveness from and make reparations to the people of Afghanistan.


Crucified Person #3–Drone bombing victim
We pray, O God, in repentance for all victims of U.S. drone strikes and call for an immediate end to the use of these immoral and illegal killer-drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. We call for a halt to the Obama Administration “kill lists” and that an apology and reparations be made to all victims’ families of drone strikes. We pray in gratitude for all who have resisted and who have been imprisoned for decrying this diabolical robotic warfare.  We commit ourselves to abolishing these murderous drones, our American death squads of the skies.


Crucified Person #4–Victim of Militarism and Nuclearism
We pray for all people–past and present–who have been, and continue to be, crucified to the cross of militarism and nuclearism. We remember all those who have died from warmaking, acts of terror, and from the devastating radiation effects of nuclear technology. On March 20, the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival, and the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War issued a joint report— “Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror’,” which concluded that at least 1.3 million lives were lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001. However, the report notes, this is a conservative estimate, and the total number killed in the three countries “could also be in excess of 2 million.” We call on our nation to repent for these crimes against humanity and to make reparations to all the victims who have died as a direct result of U.S. warmaking.

We commit ourselves to pray and work for the abolition of war, for the complete eradication of nuclear weapons, nuclear technology and all weapons–from depleted uranium weapons to killer drones, for an end to the militarization of space and all forms of militarism and military intervention worldwide, and for the conversion of our war-based economy to one centered on meeting human needs and serving the common good.


Crucified Person # 5–Victim of Racial Violence    

We pray for all those–past and present–who have been and continue to be crucified to a cross of racial hatred. We remember and pray for all those American Indians and African Americans who were slaughtered, enslaved, lynched and murdered simply because of their skin color. Today racial hatred and violence is pervasive throughout the land. A disproportionate number of Blacks are imprisoned and executed. Blacks are constantly profiled and are being killed in record numbers by white police officers. We remember Amadou Diallo, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Tamir Rice, to name but a few. Mindful of the three young Muslims who were recently murdered in their home in Chapel Hill, N.C., we pray for an end to Islamophobia and violence against Muslims. We repent for the sin of racism. Free us, O God, from fear and racial hatred. Liberate us from the unclean spirit that seeks superiority and domination of others. Instill in us, O God, a spirit of love that truly embraces everyone as equal, everyone as a sister and brother, everyone as a child of God. Deepen our commitment to tirelessly work for justice and equality for all people of color as we strive to make the Beloved Community a reality here and now.


Crucified person #6–Victim of  economic  exploitation    

We remember all people who have been, and continue to be, sacrificed at the altar of greed, oppression and economic exploitation. We remember all people who have died early deaths in the U.S. and worldwide from dire poverty and malnutrition. We pray and work for an end to structures and policies which dominate, exploit and crucify people to a cross of dehumanizing poverty, debt and neglect. We commit to working for an end to corporate domination, the eradication of poverty, a fair redistribution of wealth and a just economic order.

Crucified Person #7–Torture Victim (dressed as a GITMO prisoner)
Jesus was a torture victim who was condemned by religious authorities and executed by the Roman empire. We remember all torture victims, past and present, who have suffered and died from the effects of torture. We remember the over 100 prisoners who, since 2001, died at secret U.S. military black sites, as well as the nine men who died at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo. We remember the 122 detainees in Guantanamo, most of whom have been cleared for release, including those who have been on hunger strikes and endured excruciating force-feedings to call for an end to their brutal, unjust confinement. Let us continue to pray and work for the abolition of torture worldwide, and for the immediate closing of Guantanamo, the SOA/WHINSEC and all military torture and training centers.


Crucified Person #8–Nonviolent revolutionary victim
We remember all those who have given their lives and who have sacrificed their freedom as they have struggled, without using violence, for justice in their countries. We think of those who participated in the Arab Spring to break their shackles of oppression. We hold in prayer the dead and wounded people of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. These nonviolent resisters marched, demonstrated, and occupied the streets and squares in order to free themselves from police repression, censorship, unemployment, and violence and were met with violent attacks. We remember all of the people of these nations and repent for U.S. funding of any of the guns, bombs, and materials used to prop up their abusive dictators. May all that has been stolen from these sisters and brothers be restored.


Crucified person #9– Imprisoned Victim


We picture before us the imprisoned Jesus–arrested, tortured, stripped, crowned with thorns, mocked and crucified. We remember today imprisoned political prisoners and all who are held in gulags and prisons throughout the world. We remember and pray for:

— Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier who is serving a life sentence;

— All those who been arrested and jailed for their nonviolent resistance to a new naval base being constructed on Jeju Island, S. Korea which will serve as a U.S. military outpost to contain China;

–Transform Now Plowshares prisoners Sr. Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Mike Walli who are serving 35-52 month prison sentences for their plowshares witness at the nuclear weapons complex at Oak Ridge, TN;

–Kathy Kelly, who is serving a three month prison sentence for her nonviolent resistance to killer drones at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri;

–Private Chelsea Manning, whistle-blower and truth revealer of U.S. war crimes in Iraq, who is serving a 35 year prison sentence;

–All whistle-blowers, truth-tellers and political prisoners who have been, and continue to be, persecuted, including Julian Assange and Edward Snowden;

–Unknown numbers of Palestinian prisoners being held by the Israel government;

–All immigrants held in deportation centers;

— the over 2.2 million prisoners in the U.S., all those on death row, and all prisoners worldwide.

In the words of Jesus, let us “proclaim liberty to all captives,” and work to create a justice system that is rooted in the biblical mandate of love and restorative justice.


Crucified Person #10–Immigration Victim
Mindful that Jesus was born as a migrant and exiled as a refugee, we remember today those immigrants who have been crucified to a cross of exploitation and oppression. We remember, too, those who have been driven from their homes and the hundreds who have died crossing the border in search of a better life. Loving God, help us to learn to love and welcome the immigrants in this land. Give us the courage to stand for justice for all immigrants instead of imprisoning them in dehumanizing detention facilities. Give us the courage to speak out and expose how our country’s policies of globalization and free trade are driving people to leave their countries and tearing families apart. Help us to take down the walls of division and fear that create physical walls of separation on our border. Teach us the words of love you would have us speak as we call for comprehensive immigration reform in this land.


11th Victim–Our Desecrated Earth                                                                                                     

Creator God, we confess that the way we live today is desecrating the earth, changing the climate, the seas and the balance of life, and dispossessing the poor and future generations. We repent for the way our environment and earth continues to be endangered by industrial pollution, toxic deadly chemicals, wasteful oil consumption, the Keystone XL pipeline, nuclear radiation and the effects of preparing for and waging war. According to Joseph Nevins, in an article published on June 14, 2010 by, GREENWASHING THE PENTAGON, “The U.S. military is the world’s single biggest consumer of fossil fuels, and the single entity most responsible for destabilizing the Earth’s climate.” Creator God, help us to stop destroying your creation. Today, on Jeju Island in S. Korea, a global biosphere reserve and world natural heritage site is being destroyed, and the ancient Gureombi lava-rock formation has been decimated, all because of the construction of a new naval base that will serve as a U.S. military outpost in the Asia-Pacific region. Empower and sustain all those who are nonviolently resisting this new war base and all other threats to land, water, air and sky. Empower us to safeguard all creation and choose life for all that is at risk.

Published in: on April 7, 2015 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  


Dear Friends,
Due to the fact that our regular monthly Clarification of Thought talk falls on Good Friday, there will not be a program at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker on April 3. We do, however, invite you to participate in the Holy Week Faith and Resistance Retreat that the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and Jonah House are hosting. For more information about the Retreat please see the below announcement.
If you would like a schedule for the retreat please notify Art Laffin:
With gratitude,
The Dorothy Day Catholic Worker

WHEN: Holy Thursday, April 2 — Good Friday, April 3, 2015

WHAT: As we enter into Holy Week to commemorate the Last Supper, arrest, torture, trial and crucifixion of Jesus, please join in a time of prayer, reflection, community building and acts of nonviolent resistance focusing on the theme: “PUT AWAY THE SWORD” (Matthew: 26:52). 

The retreat will begin at 10:00 a.m. on April 2, Holy Thursday and conclude on Good Friday following a nonviolent witness at the White House from 12 Noon -1:00 p.m. which will focus on contemporary crucifixion’s taking place in our world today. There will also be a Pentagon witness early on Good Friday. Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, will give a presentation on Holy Thursday from 1:15-3:00 p.m. The retreat is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker and Jonah House. Please join us!

WHERE: St. Stephen and the Incarnation Church (Auditorium), 1525 Newton St. NW, Washington, DC 20010 (corner of 16th St. and Newton)

(NOTE: There is no parking in the St. Stephen Parking lot. There is some unrestricted parking on side streets north of the church. (Homestead St., Center St., Ogden St., Otis St., and Spring St. Closest metro is Columbia Heights- Green Line).

For more info contact: Jonah House,
and Dorothy Day Catholic Worker,
phone#: Jonah House: 410-233-6238, Dorothy Day House: 202-882-9649.

Published in: on March 17, 2015 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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