Holy Family Catholic Worker House
Address: 502 N Notre Dame Ave, South Bend, IN
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 971, Notre Dame,IN 46556
Phone: (219) 234-1196
E-Mail: Michael.O.Garvey.2@nd.edu

Photo by Elizabeth Moriarty
The Holy Family Catholic Worker House was founded in 1986 to house homeless families. Let us tell you a bit about our house on the corner of Notre Dame Avenue and Cedar Street. We are a community of Catholic lay people who have been providing hospitality to poor and homeless families in the Michiana area since 1986. Our initial fundraising drive took place around a kitchen table one winter night after a very good dinner and in the glow of much wine. We pooled our ideas and address books and began writing to like-minded and generous friends, asking their assistance in the purchase of a house about a mile south of the Notre Dame campus. Before very long, personal checks began to arrive in the mail and began to pile up in a wicker basket over which a plaster statue of St. Joseph the Worker presided. Our development program hasn't really grown any more sophisticated than that over the years.
Before too long, we'd come up with $19,000, but we soon agreed to purchase the house we still occupy for $22,000. We didn't worry so much about starting out $3000 in the hole, because we knew people would be kind, and a few of us remembered how Dorothy Day used to quote (with dubious accuracy) Pope Pius XII about how one should never hesitate "to run up bills for the poor." People were kind. Guests came, and we began to argue among each other about the quality of hospitality we could provide them. That's pretty much what has been going on here ever since. Our annual budget rarely exceeds $12,000, and our house is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers who live with the people they serve.
Our small size enables us to provide a form of hospitality more personal than what larger, and sometimes more efficient local shelters are able to offer. The precarity of our finances, the idiosyncrasy of our community, and the fallibility of our administration invite us to regard our guests as ambassadors of Christ. We're the first to admit that we far too often decline that invitation, but we all know that it is a standing invitation, and we all share a conviction that it is the central treasure of our enterprise.
We want to share with you the invitation which Christ has extended to us. We ask for your help in finding and greeting the Risen Christ in the suffering families who are our guests. We ask for your money, your labor, your friendship and your prayers. And we pray that the One Who rose from the dead, even as He said He would, will bless you and your family and friends.

Yours in Christ the Worker,

Patrick Barredo, Kathy Czubernaut, Rachel and Pete Tomas-Morgan, Michael Garvey, Kathleen and Steve Moriarty, Denny Moore, Valerie Sayers, Chris Jara

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