Te Kaupapa of The Catholic Worker

Members of Te Wairua Maranga Trust based in Christchurch, New Zealand, have since 1989 been operating a community following a Catholic Worker philosophy and praxis. While ecumenical in personnel and outreach, members of the Catholic Worker follow a spirituality inspired by the teachings of Jesus and consistent with the major social teachings of the Catholic Church.

Our movement was founded in 1933 by Dorothy Day, a US journalist, and Peter Maurin, a French-born pilgrim and labourer. After opening a house of hospitality for the homeless in New York, they founded a monthly newspaper The Catholic Worker, which, more than 85 years later, continues to have a print run of several thousand per issue. There are currently more than 180 independent CW houses of hospitality and farms scattered in many countries but mainly found in the United States.

The manifesto of the Catholic Worker highlights a commitment to pacifism, personal responsibility for the welfare of our poor and destitute neighbour, the promotion of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy as found in the Gospels, and the living out of the Beatitudes in daily life. In an often violent materialist culture dominated by militarism and huge centralised bureaucracies and institutions, we promote non-violence and a ‘small is beautiful’ approach to life, practice co-operative work and peace-making, focus on issues of justice, support prison ministry, help create intentional communities, try to live voluntary poverty and practice personalism. Non-violent resistance to oppressive social structures is also practiced when appropriate.

The Catholic Worker in Aotearoa/New Zealand views the Treaty of Waitangi as the nation’s founding document and our social analysis stems partly from our understanding of the Treaty and our reading of ‘the signs of the times’ as mandated at Vatican Council II.

In Christchurch, we operate three houses of hospitality named after Suzanne Aubert, Thomas Merton and Joseph Cardijn. We  engage in regular prayer, seek to support one another, and publish a quarterly journal The Common Good. We offer hospitality to people in need either on a temporary or more permanent basis.. We have a continuing outreach to a number of families offering friendship and support and we support actions for justice in a variety of forms. In Christchurch, we have for more than 30 years celebrated a liturgy followed by a shared meal every Wednesday evening at 6pm at Suzanne Aubert House, 8a Cotterill Street, Addington, Christchurch, ph 03 338 7105. Anyone is welcome.

We do not seek funding from traditional sources. Allowing for an annual appeal and trusting in Providence, we hope to receive enough to keep our houses of hospitality open and our various works going. Catholic Worker houses do not issue tax receipts since we are running neither a business nor a church social agency. We invite people to participate personally and unconditionally.

Should you wish to make a contribution, regular or otherwise, you may do so through our Wairua Maranga Trust holding account at Westpac Bank,  03 1703 0036346  01.

All correspondence may be addressed to:
The Catholic Worker,
P O Box 33-135,
New Zealand,

or phone Francis Simmonds 03 338 7105. or Jim Consedine 0064 3 3833154, (text 022 030 0248). Email: jim.conse@xtra.co.nz

Within wider New Zealand, Catholic Workers also operate five other houses in the North Island.

Addresses – Berrigan House, 4 Kelburn Parade, Kelburn, Wellington 6012. C/- Danielle Webb 02102543407; daniellewebb2@gmail.com

Ramos House, 4 Birch Street, Lower Hutt 5010 C/- John Richards 027 357 7043; Maggie Webb 021985171

Trinity House, 315 Napier Drive, Rd 10, Palmerston North 4470 C/- Mike Hogan, 0273268236; Email: m.t.hogan@me.com;

Te Puawai o Te Aroha CW farm, 38 Bennetts Road, Otaki 5512 C/- Adi Leason 02108062789; Email:  adileason@gmail.com

St Francis CW Farm, Jacksons Road, Whirinaki, RD 3, Kaikohe 0473 C/- Marissa Dowling, Email: x-marissa@hotmail.com (no phone)

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