An Historical Study of the Catholic Worker Movement, 1933-1951

Julia Reveille, Fordham University


The Catholic worker Movement, which is conducted by a group of lay people who have devoted themselves to a life of voluntary poverty, is one form of Catholic Action designed to alleviate problems of poverty. It is a direct answer to the plea of His Holiness to Catholics, both clergy and laity, to be leaders of social reform, rather than mere followers or extreme forces of reaction. The Catholic Worker Movement was founded to meet this challenge through specific channels; first, by supplying the immediate, concrete needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter in houses of hospitality, and by performing other works of mercy; secondly, by promulgating and disseminating the social doctrines of the papal encyclicals, Rerum Novarum and Forty Years After, as well as those of the Gospels through the medium of the newspaper, the Catholic Worker; thirdly, by long range planning in the back-to-the-land movement which started out as farming communes.

Subject Area

Public administration|Religion|Social work

Recommended Citation

Reveille, Julia, "An Historical Study of the Catholic Worker Movement, 1933-1951" (1952). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30557645.