News Flash!! News Flash!!

D.A. Drops Charges Against All Eleven Lockheed Martin Defendants!

On Monday, March 18, 2019, about 50 people from the Pacific Life Community were joined by members of Code Pink and the Musicians Action Group to say a clear NO to nuclear weapons, war, and a bloated budget for warmaking that Lockheed Martin lobbies for and benefits from. Lockheed Martin builds missile systems for nuclear weapons, and builds all sorts of deathdealing munitions and weapons.

Eleven people held a sign that read: “Lockheed Weapons Terrorize the World” and then walked out into the street as if to block traffic from going into Lockheed. As it turned out, as we approached the entry way to Lockheed, the security people closed the gates themselves. Nevertheless, the eleven were arrested and charged with trespass.

After an arraignment where we all pled not guilty, we were given a trial date of September 30, and the group started to plan and prepare for trial.

The next thing we know, the District Attorney has decided “in the interests of justice” to drop the charges. We have to wonder if the charges were dropped “in the interests of Lockheed”, as we know that the government and corporations work hand in glove.

One of the defendants, though his lawyer, brought up the question of who owns the road where we were arrested. Perhaps Lockheed didn’t have the authority to charge us with trespass on a public road.

In the 1970s, we believe that Lockheed sold some of its property to the Navy at a hefty profit, and then leases it back for pennies, and consequently does not have to pay Sunnyvale any property tax on that land. Perhaps we were arrested on that land.

Or, perhaps Lockheed Martin didn’t want a public discussion about the weapons that it makes, the children who are maimed and killed by them, or the threats to all life on earth made by the existence of nuclear weapons.

Perhaps the thought of paying for three squares and a cot for 11 people seemed like a poor use of county funds.

Or, perhaps the District Attorney had a change of heart.

At any rate, Larry, Susan and our co-defendants are relieved. Thanks for your support.

Serving up food and social justice: Catholic Worker House fights poverty and war with equal fervor

Published on September 2, 2019  in Climate Magazine
by Scott Dailey 

The Thibaults were running out of options.

John Thibault, his wife Aurora and young daughters Sophia and Sjohna were shuttling among Redwood City motels and living in their old Toyota Camry while John tried to sell cars.  Sometimes, their monthly income reached just a few hundred dollars.

Somehow, they heard about the Catholic Worker House, a gray, Craftsman-style structure on Cassia Street, two blocks south of downtown Redwood City.  Among other things, its volunteers and two-person staff regularly hand out food to the hungry and homeless.  While waiting in line with her mother and sister for food, Sophia, then 8 years old, struck up a conversation about books with staff member Susan Crane.  At the same time, Sjohna was attracted to a doll on the porch, where people leave items that anyone can take.

Aurora told Sjohna she couldn’t have the doll because the family had to travel light.  Sjohna started crying, and Crane intervened.  One thing led to another, and before long, Crane and Larry Purcell, the Catholic Worker House’s director, invited the Thibaults to move in for as long as they needed.

That was just the break they’d been waiting for.  Aurora, who comes from Bicol province in the Philippines, says that, while living at the house, John was recently able to update his electronics training, which he had used as a military contractor in Afghanistan.  With that, he has found a new job, and the family’s fortunes are on the rise.

“It’s everything,” Aurora says when asked what the Catholic Worker House has meant to the Thibaults.  “We’ve made our lives straight.  Before we met Catholic Workers, my husband was in a lot of debt and was in a depressed state.  Now he’s more focused on working and the future of the kids.”

Founded in 1974 by Purcell, then a Catholic priest (he left the priesthood in 1980), the Redwood City Catholic Worker House is one of 203 such communities around the world.  It’s one of two in San Mateo County; the other, which Purcell also helped establish, is in San Bruno.

Aida Figueroa (middle) lives and works at the Catholic Worker House. She also works with Friends of the Library, St. Anthony’s clothing closet, and Sandwiches on Sunday.

The house serves the very poor – those for whom, as Purcell says, “Food is a discretionary item.”  In addition to collecting and distributing around 10,000 pounds of leftover food each week from the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market (most goes to the Padua Dining Room at St. Anthony’s Church in Menlo Park), the house takes in the homeless, the addicted, troubled teens, and families such as the Thibaults.

It also currently offers a shower program for local homeless people, providing not just a chance to spruce up but also clean underwear and a pair of socks for folks who spend most of their days on their feet.  In addition, the Catholic Worker House has an English-language program where volunteers teach approximately 60 immigrants.  It also provides college scholarships for needy students.

No one is charged, and no one gets paid.  The Catholic Worker House takes no government money, and lacks tax-deductible status for donors, who frequently give in amounts ranging from $25 to $100.

Purcell, who lives elsewhere in Redwood City, and Crane, who lives at the house, are part of the larger Catholic Worker movement, launched in 1933 by a pair of activists in New York City named Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin.  Day and Maurin promoted the radical notions that people should live their lives according to the gospels of the New Testament, and particularly care for the poor and refrain from war.

Along those lines, Purcell and Crane – both 75 years old – have been arrested numerous times while protesting against the U.S. military and the Sunnyvale facility of defense contractor Lockheed Martin.  Despite their arrests (and four prison terms for Crane), they are unrelenting.  Both face a September 30 court date for recent charges of trespassing at Lockheed Martin, and Crane was detained overnight in July in Germany following an anti-nuclear protest at a joint U.S.-German air base.

“The problem with nuclear weapons is that if one or two of them are used, then we’ll be committing suicide,” says Crane.  “It doesn’t seem to be a good way to spend our money.”

In the Catholic Worker House newsletter, which reaches 2,000 friends and donors, Purcell lists current needs and also rails against “The Empire” and a “system of life” that includes a “war economy” that “creates winners (the rich) and losers (the poor).”

Asked about his political views, Purcell says, “I don’t know if I’d say it’s politics.  It’s an awareness that the people we deal with – the very poor, immigrants, day laborers, the uneducated, street people, people on the street that are vets, the teenagers that are homeless or are coming from dysfunctional families – we feel they’ve been damaged by the system.  We think there’s systemic violence going on.

“And so we address that.  I don’t know if that’s political, as much as feeding, clothing, sheltering and asking, ‘Why are these people in this situation?’  I’m terrified of the Republicans’ agenda in this country.  I’m not very impressed with the Democratic agenda in this country, either.  I’m very impressed with Christian values as they are articulated in the gospels.”

Those ideals are perhaps most famously expressed in the Gospel according to Matthew, in which Jesus says applicants to heaven will be judged by what did for the needy.  In particular, Jesus proclaims, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

“So if that’s political, then I’m political,” Purcell says.  “I would say I’m a communionist.  I believe we’re all one body, that we’re all one family.”

Purcell has experience with large families.  He grew up one of nine children in a wealthy, Catholic household in San Francisco.  His father, James C. Purcell, was an attorney who, working pro bono, successfully sued the U.S. government in a case that ultimately led to the closure of the nation’s World War II concentration camps that held American citizens of Japanese descent.

One extended-family member – and Democratic office-holder – who admires Purcell and the Catholic Worker House is Purcell’s sister-in-law, U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo of Atherton.  (Purcell is married to Eshoo’s sister, Ronnie, a teacher in the Redwood City School District.)

“It’s a story that’s nothing short of remarkable,” says Eshoo, who grew up in what she describes as a strongly Catholic family.  “Those that are not remembered, or not seen by so many people, they are front and center to Larry.  I often say he’s the most Christ-like person I’ve ever met.  But he doesn’t have his head in the clouds.”

In fact, Purcell can be downright hard-nosed in his expectations of residents at the Catholic Worker House.  The rules require a plan – for example, Aurora Thibault is working on community-college certificates in bookkeeping and payroll administration.  Those who don’t stick to it – teens who skip school or those who repeatedly return to substance abuse – are shown the door.

“You either do it, or we’ll find somebody who wants to do it,” Purcell says.  “This is too valuable to the people who live here to support crapping out.”

Besides Eshoo, other supporters include Jim Hartnett, chief executive officer of the San Mateo County Transit District.

“They live the talk of God,” Hartnett says.  “They believe there’s a core goodness of people, and in doing good things.  And they live that by what they do every day.  And Larry is a great example of that in what he does with the individuals and the families that live at or transit through the Catholic Worker House, or are helped outside of that.”

Dennis Pettinelli, a financial planner in Redwood City, has been active with the Catholic Worker House for 25 years.  He says his reason is simple:  “If there’s a situation where just a little boost can help somebody, that’s what they try to do.”

Adds Bill Somerville, a key supporter who heads the Philanthropic Ventures Foundation in Oakland, “There’s a lot of trust, and it’s paid great dividends.”  Purcell has never written a proposal for the estimated $1 million that the foundation has contributed to the house over the years.  He simply has called Somerville and described the need.  From Somerville’s perspective, it’s been all about the house’s effect on the community.

“Impact is something positive happening for a better world,” he says.  “Larry is the impact.  Funding him is creating a better world.”

This story was originally published in the September print edition of Climate Magazine.

August 2019 newsletter

                                    “Love one another.”  (The Gospels)

Dear Friends,                                                                                      August 2019

The anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have passed, but the threat of nuclear death has not. In that spirit, the following guest article, by Patrick O’Neill, is passed on to you. Patrick is a Catholic Worker and was arrested for a non-violent protest against nuclear weapons.

“My neighbor in Garner, North Carolina, Janie, sent out a nice July 4th greeting in an email to the folks who live on our dead end street. ‘Greetings neighbors,’ she wrote, ‘Thinking about and feeling GRATEFUL, for our MILITARIY HEROES. . . BLESSED AND NOSTALGIC about this 4th  Of JULY.  PROUD of our GRAND OLD FLAG.  THANKFUL, for our SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY.  GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.!  HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!’

Janie’s husband, Bill, is a retired U.S. Marine veteran.  They often fly the flags of the branches of the armed forces on a clothesline in their yard on other patriotic days like Veterans Day and Memorial Day.  Janie knows I am an anti-war activist.  I stopped by her house recently to show her my federal probation ankle monitor and let her know I would likely be going to federal prison as a result of my recent protest against the Trident submarine, a component of the US nuclear arsenal, and arguably the most insidious weapons system every built.  I really like Janie and Bill, and I think they like me.  I like the fact that we like each other, even though we have diametrically opposed views of our nation and its military.  In truth, our families have far more in common than the few areas where we disagree.  I understand Janie’s enthusiasm for ‘Independence Day,’ because, since her husband risked his life on the battlefield and his sacrifice could have left her a widow, she and Bill have a lot invested in their nationalism.

Also important is the fact that the majority of our service members – especially those placed in harm’s way – are working class people who often join the military for economic reasons.  It is telling that few of our citizen soldiers are from wealthy families and even fewer of our service members are the children of politicians.  As a father of 8 children, none of whom have any inclination to pursue a military career, I harbor great suspicions of the motivations of leaders of a nation state in which almost no politicians have children fighting in the trenches of the wars they promote and fund. (Could it be they know something we don’t know?)

My opposition to militarism stems primarily from my religious beliefs.  As a Christian, I think Jesus meant it when He said: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Killing other human beings just because the government tells me to do so, is not an option for me as a Catholic pacifist.  But, even if I believed a military was necessary to make our lives safer or more free, I could never support the madness that is modern warfare, where weapons of mass destruction wait on hair-trigger alert to destroy entire cities and quiet drones secretly drop bombs from the sky – “only on the bad guys.” Our world is always just seconds away from nuclear annihilation, a legacy I am ashamed to leave for my children and grandchildren.  I shudder to think what the future will be like for the generation of humans to come.”

Editor’s Note:  Patrick O’Neill is a member of the Catholic Worker in North Carolina.  Along with Carmen Trotta, Clare Grady, Steve Kelly S.J., Liz McAlister, Martha Hennessy and Mark Colville, he demonstrated at Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia on the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  In his statement for trial, he wrote: “With a deep sense of humility, the Kings Bay Plowshares, a group of seven devout Roman Catholics, relying on sacred scripture and prayer for guidance, have attempted to follow the teachings of Jesus by challenging the idolatry of a human-made idol called Trident. With hammers, blood, spray paint, Catholic lectionaries, rosary beads and other symbols of our faith, we entered Naval Station Kings Bay to beat swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4) and smash idols – false gods that are excoriated in the Old Testament: “Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.” (Exodus 22:20)

P.S. Susan and Larry (along with 9 others) go to trial Sept. 30th for protesting nuclear weapons at Lockheed in Sunnyvale.


  1. FOOD in any amount.
  2. Household needs:  Backpacks filled with school supplies for elementary to college age students, paper towels, razors, toothpaste, Simple Green, Tylenol, laptop computers for high school and college, DVD’s for children and youth, bikes, locks, etc. We continue to need bikes, cars, and trucks for the poor. After housing, education, & jobs. . . then transportation is the next biggest issue.
  3. The Homeless:  tents, sleeping bags, socks, deodorant, towels, body wash, foot powder, toiletries, etc. Call Susan (650) 366-4415.
  4. Thanksgiving and Christmasgift cards to Target and/or Safeway.  Christmas gifts for families we adopt. Call Larry or Susan (650) 366-4415.
  5. Each year we distribute numerous college scholarships of $1,500 to $2,000 per student.  The more we receive from you the more we share with the very poor. Housing and education will continue to be our main priorities. Call Larry.
  6. house or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker center.                               Call Larry for a free cup of coffee. (650) 366-4415.
  7. Day Laborers (men and women), if you need a worker, call Cesar at (650) 339-2794.
  8. Random: Larry is trying to buy a new small pickup truck. A Ford Ranger costs $25,800 out the door and Larry has raised $20,000 for this. Call Larry (650) 366-4415.
  9. The Language School needs someone to listen to students read English, Mon. and Wed. evenings from 6:30pm to 8pm.  School starts Sept. 9th. Call Pam (650) 515-9969.

June 2019 Newsletter

“Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with great earnestness of spirit; If you have hope, this will make you cheerful.  Do not give up if trials come; and keep on praying.  If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care.” (Romans 12: 11)

June 2019

Dear Friends, 

Resistance to the Empire continues at 545 Cassia St. in Redwood City, Calif. In the name of LIFE we continue with God’s grace and your support to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate the very very poor in the name of Christ.  The poor include among others: ‘at risk’ youth, immigrants learning English, women addicts coming out of jail, men coming out of San Quentin, the homeless who live in tents and bushes and doorways, day laborers (both men & women) and many many more. In addition to feeding, clothing, sheltering and educating the poor, we ask a fundamental question: Why are so many so poor in the richest country in the history of life?  We believe that our system of life (a war economy, for example) creates winners (the rich) and losers (the poor).  And therefore we resist.

Some of the symptoms of our resistance are:

  1. No one gets paid to work at the Catholic Worker and no one is charged anything for the food, clothing, housing and education we share. We try to become “go givers” rather than “go getters.”
  2. We are not a 501-3 tax exempt organization.  We are a not-for-profit Christian family where “love is the answer.” We have coffee and meals together rather than meetings.
  3. Susan and Larry will go to court with 9 other non-violent resisters for our arraignment on June 24th.  This results from a protest at Lockheed in Sunnyvale which is the largest weapons contractor in the world.  When we spend ½ of our national budget on weapons, wars and veterans, it is impossible to fund schools, housing, and transportation – let alone protect the climate.
  4. We make money the old fashion way; we beg for it!! And we live like kings with all of our basic bills paid for by others.  We also refuse government financial support for anything we do.

In addition to the above forms of resistance, this summer Susan will return to Germany (her 3rd trip) to protest the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons on German soil.  The USA has ratified the nuclear non-proliferation treaty that clearly prohibits sharing nuclear technology or weapons with non-nuclear nations like Germany. 

When all is said and done, our lives are a series of symbolic actions:

  1. At Mass, we celebrate “come union” and declare we are all one body.  It is symbolic.  We have a long, long ways to go and “love is the answer.”
  2. At the Catholic Worker House, we try to symbolically live as if people are all that matter.  We definitely have a long way to go.
  3. In the Peace Movement, we symbolically try to end war and live in peace.  Clearly we are a tad off the mark.

As we live our lives at the Catholic Worker House, it is more important for us to be faithful than it is to be successful.  Symbols matter.  Jesus showed us that and gave us the WAY.

Peace and gratitude,
Larry for all of us.


  1. Food in any amount.
  2. Household needs: laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, PineSol, Simple Green, light bulbs, cleanser, periodic use of someone’s swimming pool to teach our younger guests to swim.  Call Susan or Larry (650) 366-4415.
  3. Shower Program: foot powder, deodorant, toothbrushes, towels, cell phones, radios, haircut kit, volunteers for our foot hygiene & hair cutting program for the homeless, gas cards, gift cards, tents, sleeping bags, socks etc.
  4. Day Laborers: If you need domestic workers or housecleaners, the day labor program is expanding to include women.  They also have men of all trades. Call (650) 339-2794.
  5. A house or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker Center.  Call Larry for a free cup of coffee (650) 366-4415.
  6. Your ongoing love and support.  During the summer we still have bills; but as friends go on vacation, support vanishes. We continue to offer $2,000 college scholarships and Susan’s budget for her month and a half protest in Germany is $1,500.

The Dali Lama once said, “My religion is kindness.” April 2019 Newsletter

    The Dali Lama once said, “My religion is kindness.”

April, 2019
Dear Friends,

Over 40 years ago, we became teamsters for the poor by picking up free fresh produce from the South San Francisco Produce Terminal.  For the past 35 years, the Catholic Worker House has made a weekly food run: gathering and distributing about 10,000 pounds of produce each week. These food pick-ups were possible because BILL SOMERVILLE (and eventually PHILANTHROPIC VENTURES FOUNDATION) arranged for us to be given a succession of three large 15,000 pound trucks to haul the food. Most of this food now goes to Padua Dining Hall (i.e. St. Anthony’s in Menlo Park). But in the early years, with the help of Catholic Charities, our truck and drivers became the first official “Food Bank” in San Mateo County.  That small food bank morphed into what is now “San Mateo County Second Harvest Food Bank” — a multi-million dollar outfit.  It was Bill Somerville’s vision and seed money for a truck that made it possible to feed thousands for decades in the past and into the future.

Over 25 years ago, Sr. Monica came to us with the idea of St. Francis Center. For her first project, she organized an eye clinic for elementary school age children and held it at the Catholic Worker.  U.C. Berkeley student optometrists tested children selected by school nurses. If glasses were needed, they were supplied free of charge.  Bill Somerville established this connection with U.C. Berkeley and funded the entire program. He then supplied the Redwood City Catholic Worker with seed money to buy a small two bedroom house. That tiny house became Sr. Monica’s “St. Francis Center” which distributed food and clothing to desperate families. This mustard seed money morphed into the largest housing program for the very poor in San Mateo County, thanks to Sr. Monica, Sr. Christina and hundreds of supporters of St. Francis Center!!

Almost 10 years ago Bill Somerville and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation gave the Catholic Worker seed money to purchase a 2 bedroom house in Redwood City for “Day Laborers.”  For the past ten years, The Multicultural Institute (Father Rigo, Cesar et al) has managed that building and 6 day laborers have lived there on the cheap!!  Their garage is an office, a computer lab and an English Language School for the extremely poor.  The Multicultural Institute now owns the building and will develop it as their center in Redwood City. Their contacts with the city, county and surrounding community are similar to Sr. Christina’s and insure a long and wonderful future. What a great program. The sower sows good seeds.

Last year Bill Somerville and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation did it again.  This time we purchased a home (with their seed money) in Oakland to house men coming out of San Quentin State Prison.  Kate Chatfield, a Catholic Worker from San Bruno, went to law school and her first year at USF school of law was paid for with a grant from PVF.  This new house is managed by “Re:Store Justice”, with whom Kate works not only to house ex-convicts, but also to draft and pass new laws in the state of California assembly to change our system. 

While all of the above breakthroughs were happening, Catholic Workers in Redwood City, San Bruno, San Jose, and Santa Maria California were feeding, clothing, sheltering and educating the very poor by the thousands. Bill Somerville and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation has supported each of those Catholic Worker Houses in magnificent ways. Easter celebrates LIFE. This Easter we share with you part of the life of Bill Somerville. He is great, humble, dedicated, and serves the poor with deep, deep kindness. He is very religious

          Holy Easter,

         Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Jan Johanson,  Sr. Mary Jane Floyd,
Aida Figueroa, Susan
Crane, J Arthur White.

P.S.  At the end of our Peace Retreat in March, sixty of us non-violently demonstrated at Lockheed and eleven were arrested for simple trespass.  We have a May 20th court appearance scheduled in Santa Clara.   All is well.


  1. Food in any amount.
  2. Household needs:  laundry detergent, Clorox, bikes, food carts with strong wheels for the elderly who receive food at our weekly distribution, reusable shopping bags, dish soap, an ipad or lap top computer, a 6 X 10 shed (or $3,000 to build it), toilet paper, paper towels, a bedside radio etc.
  3. Transportation:   Bikes, cars, trucks and R.V.’s.
  4. Day Laborers: If you need a worker call Cesar at (650) 339-2794
  5. A house or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker Center. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee (650) 366-4415.  Seed money is always the hardest to find.  Or call Bill Somerville at Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (510) 645-1890.
  6. Shower Program: volunteers to help on either Tues. or Wed. mornings, laundry detergent, tents, sleeping bags, socks, foot powder, etc.  Call Susan or Larry (650) 366-4415.
  7. Your ongoing love and support. One of our teens is graduating and will have a senior prom, pictures, a year book and other expenses.  She just won a 4 year full scholarship to college. Gift cards are gold.

Steve Kelly, SJ, the Disciple

                   “I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you therefore
to lead a life worthy of your vocation.”  (Eph. 4:1)

Dear friends,                                                                                                   Ash Wed. 201

The above words of Paul, explicitly state that he had been arrested and imprisoned just like the man from Nazareth.  Paul was a disciple.  He too learned that Jesus gave us a WAY to live rather than a place to settle.  Paul and Jesus both experienced the cost of discipleship.

Today marks about 1 year since our dear, dear brother Steve Kelly S.J. was imprisoned in Georgia for protesting (with others) against the existence, the threats to use and the inevitable misuse of nuclear weapons in our world and in our country. Pope Francis has condemned nuclear weapons and called for their abolition. Politicians like Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, George Schultz and William Perry have also called for the elimination of these weapons (too bad they retired to speak the truth). Truth is always easier to say when there are no consequences and it is always easier to talk about Truth rather than live it.


Fr. Steve Kelly, SJ leading us in prayer at the Nevada Test Site.

Fr. Steve has been in jail at various times during his priesthood – usually for protesting against nuclear weapons because he knows they threaten our species. He’s an unrepentant, repeat offender and has spent about 8 years in prison.  One nuclear bomb in N.Y. or Mexico City or Moscow or London could mean 5 million casualties.  A nuclear exchange will leave about 130 million dead (immediately) and a global winter that will lead to global famine.

In the event of a nuclear war, there will be no winners – only losers.  The living will go up in the air in ash and the dead will be left to roam the earth.  Even now, the cost of nuclear weapons (trillions) is a theft from life giving priorities like: housing, education, clean air, food, and transportation.

Steve Kelly S.J. a priest of God according to the order of Melchizedek is famous for saying: “The Nukes won’t go away by themselves.”  With these words he invites each of us to find a way to say “No” to this madness as we say “yes” to the loves of our lives.  All that we love, all that we work for, all that we hope for will be gone in a FLASH if nuclear weapons are not condemned and eliminated from our world.

As Ash Wednesday approaches, we can remember that “we are ash and unto ash you shall return.”   As Lent begins, we can “repent and believe.”  We can turn away from death and seek life.  Each of us must find our own next step toward peace.

Nancy Galleni (one of our supporters) sent us a great Christmas card that said: “Peace came to live with us, now we have a choice.”

God forgive us and  bless our dear brother Steve,
Larry for all of us.

P.S.  In Early March, there will be three public events to which you are all invited.  The first two are at Vallombrosa Retreat Center in their Chapel (250 Oak Grove Ave., Menlo Park).

Lockheed is the largest weapons builder in the world.  For details call Susan or Larry at (650) 366-4415 or consult:                 Arrest is optional.


  1. Food in any amount
  2. Household needs: laundry detergent, dish soap, tooth paste, Pinesol, batteries, body wash and lotions, light bulbs, Simple Green, firewood (cut), toilet paper, pens etc.
  3. Homeless needs: bikes, locks, blankets, tents, sleeping bags, warm sweats, socks, pads, tarps, rain gear, etc. Call Susan (650) 366-4415.
  4. Transportation: Bikes, cars, trucks, R.V.’s.
  5. Day Laborers: If you need a worker (painter, hauler, gardener, handyman, etc.) call Cesar at: (650) 339-2794. We also collect tools for a “Tool Library” for the workers. (650) 366-4415.
  6. A house or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker Center. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee (650) 366-4415.
  7. Your ongoing love and support.




Christmas in January: January 2019 Newsletter

“Something that has existed since the beginning, that we have
heard and we have seen with our own eyes; that we have watched and
touched with our hands: the Word, who is life – this is our subject…..
This is what we have heard from him, and the message that we are
announcing to you: God is light; there is no darkness in Her at all….
If we live our lives in the light, as She is in the light, we are in union with one
another.” ( I John 1)

Jan. 2019
Dear Friends, 

For the only time in over 40 years, I failed to send you a Christmas newsletter.  This new year’s note is a feeble attempt to make up for that omission.  The following is the truth.

“When the song of the angels is stilled
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flocks,
The work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the peoples,
to make music in the heart.”
Howard Thurman 1985

One of the reasons, no Christmas newsletter went out was because we were extremely busy responding to so many of you who help us help those in need. 

On behalf of the very, very poor, I want to thank all of you for the food, gift certificates, Christmas gifts, cars, sleeping bags, tents, household goods, checks, visits, loving cards, letters and notes and all of your ongoing love.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Love and peace,

              Larry Purcell, Sr. Mary Jane Floyd, Ronnie Georges, Jan Johanson, Aida Figueroa,
                       Susan Crane, and J. Arthur White.

P.S. For those of you who do not know, Aida is in Brazil visiting her dear brother Fr. Ed Figueroa.  Ed has been living and working in Brazil for over 35 years. His work is with “throw away”  children.  He is a saint.  Aida is visiting because Ed is very, very sick. Please keep Aida and Ed in your prayers.


  1. Food in any amount.
  2. Household needs:  reusable shopping bags, a video projector, bikes, vehicles, and our shower program needs – shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, tents, sleeping bags and especially SOCKS. Call Susan at (650) 366-4415.  We also need a volunteer counsellor for young people.
  3. MONEY: We are still offering $2,000 scholarships to college students we know.  We would also love to open another center for the poor, which means we could use a house or money to buy a house.  For either, call Larry at (650) 366-4415.
  4. Day Laborers:  If you need a worker call Cesar  (650) 339-2794.
  5. English Language School: Sr. Mary Jane continues to live at the Presentation Sisters’ mother house in S.F. Her address is 2340 Turk Blvd, San Francisco, Calif. 94118. Since Mary Jane retired, Pam Hitchcock has been organizing the school with a group of teachers. Pam’s # is (650) 360-6019.  They need assistant teachers.
  6. Your ongoing love and support. We can use all the help we can get.