I want to thank you for your interest in the Catholic Worker being formed here in Madison, Wisconsin.
Currently we are in the very beginning stages of a process of prayer, discernment and dialogue that we hope will lead to the formation of a Catholic Worker presences here in Wisconsin's capital city. To our knowledge there has not been a CW group in this city, so we are essentially building from scratch.
Here is a brief history of how we arrived at a place where we felt confident enough to launch a website and begin to invite others to join us.
About 2 years ago, Adam Lewandowski and I began volunteering weekly at our local Dane County Jail to serve as Catholic lay ministers for the men and women of the maximum security section of this jail. Our presences there is limited to providing a liturgy and small group sharing time weekly to a group of about 20 men and 10 women. Soon, through talking with the inmates who came to our chapel service, we began to learn of the challenges that this population faced after their release. We began to consider other ways to accompany them.
We were moved to act by another group as well. While waiting each week in the lobby of the City County Builder which houses the jail, we met with several members of the homeless community who rest and often sleep in and around this public facility. Our awareness of these people's temporal and spiritual needs influenced in no small way our desire to search for a way engage ourselves in the Catholic Works of Mercy. Soon enough, we were considering Dorothy and Peter's model as way to respond to the Spirit-guided urgings of our consciousnesses.
Our current group of organizers remains under 10 members. We are planning to meet after Easter to begin a more formal process of facilitated conversations. I am happy to report that the small group possesses a strong “can-do” spirit and a deep commitment to Catholic prayer and social values. At this writing we have not yet formalized our vision, but have built an initial sense of trust that together we can contribute a collective portion toward the building of the reign of God.
So, if you are interested in what we have built or what we dream of building, we invite you to keep in touch. If you are looking for an established Catholic Worker community that you can join in the near future, we can't currently offer you anything. Madison, however, possesses many options for community and alternative living, so please check out the city for other options. We will certainly be forming an extended community of Catholic Workers very soon and will welcome you into this circle of prayer and community.
In the meantime, I invite you to read over the Means and Purpose of Catholic Worker . This is a general description, one we hope to use as a guiding voice as we walk together in the spirit of Dorothy and Peter.
Please contact us if you are in town and would like to meet with us over a cup of coffee or tea.