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.

The Caravan of Refugees walking across Mexico

          “Yahweh went before them, by day in the form of a pillar of cloud to show the
the way, and by night in the form of a pillar of fire to give them light; thus they could
continue their march by day and by night.” (Exodus 13)

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                      November 2018

In 1919, my wife Ronnie’s mom (Alice) was 5 years old. Alice and her family were Catholics living in Iran. Catholics at that time were being systematically slaughtered by Turkish forces. This small child walked 400 miles with her mother, her brother and her cousin whose entire family had been killed. They escaped death at home by going to a refugee camp in Iraq, where Alice remembered receiving her first communion. Catholicism was at the heart of why her family left home. Alice clearly remembered the rest of her trip to Marseille, France (2,000 miles from home). There her family was reunited with other beloved relatives and she felt safe for the first time in months. Their faith gave them strength on the journey and became central to their lives when they arrived safely.

56 US Military Interventions in Latin America

Larger, Readable Map Below

For the rest of her long her life, Alice thanked God for protecting her family and others during their long exodus from death to life. Her hardships cemented in her a love for family, God and country – all sources of security! Whenever Alice saw pictures of refugees in the news, she cried, saying, “That was us.” Over and over again she told us, “My mother was so strong.” Eventually, Alice and her family made it to Ellis Island and her father.

Today, over 7,000 sisters and brothers have left all (in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador etc.) and are walking across Mexico. Imagine taking your children on such a journey. Imagine the hardships and dangers! Their motivations are similar to those of Alice’s family. Stay home and die or travel and maybe find a way of life. Today’s refugees also believe that God is with them. Their love of family is unmistakable and their need for security is vital.

The United States of America is their destination. Will we blame them, reject them, jail them, kill them or what? It might be helpful to ask, “Why are so many risking so much to come so far?” It might be good to remember these are our brothers and sisters and are part of the Body of Christ. “Lord when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger, or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help? Then he will answer, ‘ I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.’” (Matt 25)

For decades, U.S. corporate interests in countries south of our border have been doing business without investing in the local economies (i.e. they don’t pay fair taxes or fair wages). Consequently, life there is awful. There is little or no money for sewers, water projects, schools, healthcare, roads etc. It is true that the U.S. did send some aid over the years; but this only compounded the problem, as massive debt repayment added to the poverty and fueled corruption. A good deal of this aid was in the form of weapons that were used to violently crush unions, human rights groups, churches and other possible sources of organized opposition. Oscar Romero used to say, “When I feed the poor they call me a saint; but when I ask why are they poor, they call me a communist.”

Catholic Workers feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger. At our home for teens at risk, no one is paid to work and no one is charged anything to live here. We do invest in our guests by loving them. This is the good news of the Gospels. Love works and hate divides.

One of the stories Alice told of her journey was especially heart breaking. A newborn infant, just weeks old, died while they were running for their lives. There was so much fear and urgency that the child was left on the side of the road. No one had time to bury their love. Imagine!!!

Larry for all of us.

P.S. Thanksgiving is a time to remember our blessings. We have so much. We are all one body.


  1. Food in any amount. Right now we have 7 guests at the house. We can also use shampoo, conditioner, Kleenex, toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, zip lock freezer bags (gallon), laundry detergent; A video projector for slide shows, movies, or art projects, and a light suit case.
  2. Day Laborers: if you need a worker, call Cesar at (650) 339-2794.
  3. Transportation: after housing and jobs, the next crucial item is transportation. We need bikes, cars and vehicles (trucks, RV’s). For your information, in the past 5 years, the Redwood City Catholic Worker has distributed about 800 bikes. Most of these come from Terry Rolleri in S.F. who is a fantastic connection and the Silicon Valley Bicycle Exchange. The Bike Exchange collects free bikes, repairs them and then donates them to area programs for the poor..
  4. A house or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker center. The new Oakland house for men coming out of San Quentin is terrific. We are looking for help with the running expenses ($25,000 a year) and also bar bells for weight lifting.
  5. Christmas Gifts: We give out 150 (ten dollar) gift cards at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The cards can be for Safeway or Target. In addition, we adopt 50 plus families for Christmas gifts. We can use all the help we can get.
  6. FOOD PROGRAM: We need food carts with strong wheels for the elderly in our food program, reusable food bags, and large plastic garbage bags.
  7. Your ongoing love and support. We are still putting together scholarship money for students in need ($1,500 to $2,000 per student). Call Larry (650) 366-4415
56 US Military Interventions in Latin America

Larger Map Here

September Newsletter 2018

 You had a vision, O king; this is what you saw: a statue, a great statue of extreme brightness, stood before you, terrible to see.  The head of this statue was of fine gold, its chest and arms were of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet part iron, part earthenware. While you were gazing, a stone broke away, untouched by any human hand, and struck the statue, struck its feet of iron and earthenware and shattered them. And then, iron and earthenware, bronze, silver, gold all broke into small pieces as fine as chaff on the threshing floor in summer. The wind blew them away, leaving not a trace behind.”  (Daniel 2)

Sept. 2018
Dear Friends,


Our very own Susan Crane returned from Germany safe and sound.  She and other internationals joined a coalition of 50 German peace organizations to highlight and protest the presence of U.S. nuclear weapons on German soil (namely Büchel Air Force Base). Sharing these nuclear weapons with Germany violates the “non-proliferation treaty” which prohibits sharing “nuclear weapons technology” &/or nuclear weapons with non-nuclear nations.

The U.S. stations nuclear weapons in 5 different “non-nuclear” European countries (Germany is just one of them).

Susan was stopped by German authorities 3 times while protesting inside the air base.  She was detained and released once while standing atop the very building which houses nuclear weapons.  If these weapons are ever detonated (God forbid), our species is doomed.  If these weapons are not detonated, our species still loses because the U.S. alone plans to spend over a trillion dollars to upgrade our nuclear arsenal. What a scandal. What a waste!  Diplomats and presidents use the threat of our nuclear arsenal more often than you can imagine.

If you wish to hear the full story, come to the Catholic Worker House at 545 Cassia St. in Redwood City on Oct. 12th at 7pm to share with Susan and her international co-conspirators.


The San Bruno Catholic Worker and the Redwood City Catholic Worker collaborated to purchase and open another home in Oakland, Calif. (Property is cheaper on the other side of the bay.) We purchased a house (3 bedrooms, three baths, and a full basement) for $730,000.  This home, for men leaving prison, will be managed by Kate Chatfield and a group (Re:store Justice). The basement will become the headquarters of Re:store Justice.

Our first guest had his sentence commuted by Governor Brown after serving 22 years in prison.  In the press conference announcing the commutation, the governor mentioned that this man upon leaving San Quentin, will have a stable place to live—that’s the new house we purchased with the help of Philanthropic Ventures Foundation.

We have furnished the house, are replacing the sewer line, corrected a number of other “fixer upper” type things and are ready for our guests.  We estimate that it will take $25,000 a year to run this program and hope to have that budget set for three years.  We need all the help we can get. Checks can be made out to Catholic Worker Hospitality House and sent to 672 2nd Ave. San Bruno, Calif. 94066 (aka, The San Bruno Catholic Worker).                                                                                                                                           

Peace and gratitude,
Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Aida Figueroa, Susan Crane, Jan Johanson,
and J Arthur White


  1. Food in any amount. Aida wants honey.
  2. Household needs:  black plastic bags, toilet paper, paper towels, a 10Ft. X 10 Ft. carpet, freezer bags, a coffee pot, binoculars for Sr. Mary Jane, a video projector, bikes, etc.
  3. Day Laborers: If you need a worker call Cesar at 650-339-2794. They also need construction tools and especially, gardening tools to build up a library of tools that the men can borrow over and over again.
  4. Scholarships: Each year we try to fund a number of students with $500 to $10,000 scholarships.  So far, we are helping eight. Last year we helped 13 students. If you want to help us help, call Larry (650) 366-4415.
  5. Major funding for the new house in Oakland for men coming out of State Prison.  For stability, we would like to have a budget of three years ($25,000 a year). The men need everything. Call Larry at 650 366-4415.
  6. English Language School needs assistant teachers. Call Pam at (650) 365-6019.
  7. Showers for the Homeless:  Bath towels and wash cloths, body wash (liquid soap for showers), tents, socks, sleeping bags, warm jackets etc. Call Susan (650) 366-4415.
  8. You are all invited to an evening with Susan and others (John La Forge and Marion Küper from Germany) to discuss their resistance in Germany: Oct. 12th at 7pm (evening) at 545 Cassia St. Redwood City.
  9. Your ongoing love and support.

Swords Into Plowshares

                        “They will hammer their swords into plowshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war.” Micah 4

Dear Friends,                                                                                                            June 2018

Every day you and we go about our lives that include family, friends, work, school, prayer, and the multitude of errands that fill our days. If we have children, we surprise ourselves with the things we will do for them and as our elders age some of us stretch ourselves to help with their care.


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

All of our activities take place on a tiny blue planet that flies through the black velvet of outer space. We are a speck on earth. Earth is a speck in the Milky Way and our galaxy is just a speck of light among the billions and billions and billions of galaxies in the universe.

It is important to remember how small we are and how precious our loves are. Having said all of that, it’s frightening to think about the unimaginable. All that we love, all that we do, all that we live and hope for (our children and their children), can be GONE IN A FLASH.

Nuclear weapons continue to threaten our planet, continue to contaminate all life on earth, and continue to steal resources from priorities that are life giving (housing, education, safe food, clean air & water, etc.).

Our dear, dear friend, Fr. Steve Kelly S.J. has been imprisoned in the past for protesting against our country’s nuclear madness. Four times Fr. Steve and our own Susan Crane (a full time live-in Catholic Worker in Redwood City for the past 6 years) have been part of non-violent, civil disobedience that tries to transform nuclear weapons of death into instruments of life. Susan and Steve have both spent over 6 years in Federal prison for their past “Plowshare Actions.”

As they and others have protested nuclear weapons, the world and particularly the USA has expanded expenditures on upgrading these threats to our species.

Now, Steve and six others (including 5 Catholic Workers) are in a Georgia jail for another Plowshare act of resistance to the Trident Nuclear Submarine system. The USA has 15 Trident Subs. Each sub carries 192 separately targeted nuclear missiles that are many, many times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed the people of Hiroshima. One submarine can annihilate any country in the world. One sub could kill 100 million people or more.


Clare Grady, Patrick O’Neill, Elizabeth McAlister, Jesuit Fr. Stephen Kelly, Martha Hennessy, Mark Colville, and Carmen Trotta 

This is not security for our blue planet in the black velvet of outer space. This is insanity. This is immoral. These subs and their bombs threaten all life on earth. They spell death.

As we wash our children’s hands in the sink and tie their shoes on the way to school, remember God (who is love) is our security.

Larry for all of us.
P.S. God bless Steve and his co-defendants. To contact Steve, or to get more information and links,  go here.  We all need your ongoing love and support.


  1. Food in any amount.
  2. Household needs: large plastic garbage bags, backpacks for the beginning of school (filled with supplies for elementary & high school children), lap top computers for school or other useful electronic stuff, Pine Sol, Simple Green cleaner, hand soap, etc.
  3. We will be giving out Jr. College scholarships of $500 to $2000 in Sept. 2018. If you want to help, great. Last year we gave out just over $30,000.
  4. Day Laborers: If you need a worker (painting, planting, carpentry, hauling etc) call Cesar at (650) 339-2794. Tell Cesar who you need and he will match you up.
  5. Transportation: Bikes, locks, lights….cars, trucks and RV’s too…..So far we have given out close to 600 bikes.
  6. Homeless: warm clothing (sweat pants & shirts), razors, socks, gift certificates for fast food, pads, tarps, tents and camping gear, and foot powder.  Someone who could come to our shower program to cut hair, do foot care, or general nursing. (Tuesday and Wednesday morning 8:00 am to 11:00am)
  7. PEACE WORK: Susan Crane is going to Germany in July to help organize resistance to the presence of 20 USA nuclear warheads that are stockpiled on German soil. We are trying to raise $1,500 for her budget. So far, we have $500.
  8. ON FIRDAY, JUNE 22, Susan will share a new film on Plowshare Actions: “THE NUNS, THE PRIEST, AND THE BOMBS.” 7pm at 545 Cassia St. in Redwood City. All are welcome.
  9. The San Bruno Catholic Worker and the Redwood City Catholic Worker are hoping to open another Catholic Worker House for folks coming out of prison. Houses are so expensive!!! We have $600,000 and would love to augment that with another $100,000. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee to discuss details (650) 366-4415.

Easter Newsletter 2018

“I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me….”  (Matt. 25)

Dear Friends,

I often describe our Catholic Worker House as a bridge between the heartbreaking needs of the poor and the phenomenal resources of the surrounding community.  The following is a true story. Ronnie claims I exaggerate a lot. This is the truth and nothing but the truth.

About a year and a half ago, Aurora and her two young daughters arrived in the USA to join her American husband and their father. Aurora and John had been married 10 years and he was back from Iraq. The first day that Aurora and the children arrived here from the Philippines, John’s landlord happened to visit their apartment and summarily evicted them – too many people in a one room apartment!  Susan Crane (our live-in worker at the Catholic Worker) met Aurora while she and her preschool daughter were waiting in our Friday Food line – each Friday we give food to about 60 families.  Aurora had come for food on her bike pulling a trailer in which her younger daughter road. All of their money was paying for housing.

The family had been living in a motel room for six months; they were broke and  desperate.  We invited them to live at the Catholic Worker House for free. They considered this a life saver. John worked as a car salesman on commission and made $900 a month. Aurora was working as a “crossing guard” at a local grammar school. In order to stay with us, John and Aurora agreed to save most of their money and their extremely bright children promised to do well in school. No problem on either count.

In short order, one of our supporters paid for driving lessons for Aurora and then after she got her license, another donor gave her a car. John was then granted by us $4,000 to upgrade his computer skills in a 3 month crash program – he was a star. This led to a great job that he loves. At the beginning of this school year their 4th grader was accepted into Holy Family School of St. Francis by Sr. Christina (a saint). This is like getting into Stanford University. And finally, another supporter offered them a 3 bedroom apartment for $1,000 a month – what a deal!!! Aurora is now going to Canada College with one of our other scholarships to prepare herself for a better job. The family is now safe and relatively secure and their future looks bright.

People ask me if I believe in miracles.  This story is the kind of miracle that I embrace.  These miracles remind me that the Body of Christ is very powerful. This miracle transformed sadness to joy, despair to hope, darkness to light and these are all Easter themes.

Last month I gave a talk at the University of San Francisco and was asked “Who do you network with?”  I answered that I don’t like meetings and don’t network.  As I’ve reflected on that, I realize that our supporters are our “network without meetings.” Sharing this story with you is our way of thanking you for everything we are, have, and share with the poor.  You and we are sometimes privileged to be the hands of the Body of Christ. 


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

P.S.  The cross is not the end of the story. The Body of Christ is alive and well among us.


  1. Food in any amount.
  2.  Household needs:  Kleenex, laundry detergent, blankets, one excellent bed, black garbage bags, laptop computers, tents, sleeping bags, socks, warm shirts, bikes, cars, a microwave, a chest of drawers, etc.
  3. Day Laborer program:  jobs for talented men and women. Call Cesar (650)339-2794. The Day Laborers are trying to collect tools for a lending library.  The workers would borrow & use the collected saws, sanders, drills, shovels, picks, etc. and then return them for others to use. The day labor program is also seeking tutors to help with their afterschool program. Call Cesar (650) 339-2794 
  4. The housing crisis is escalating in our area. We are looking for homes or businesses that have room to park a tiny house and hook it up to a nearby sewer.  Call Susan or Larry 650-366-4415. We’ll find the tiny houses if you find the space to park them.
  5. Susan Crane has spent 6 years in Federal Prison for resistance to nuclear weapons and war.  She has again been asked to return to Germany in July 2018 to assist their resistance groups and talk resistance to nuclear weapons in the US.  If you would like to help with her budget, we are trying to raise $1,500 for her travel and a month’s stay.
  6. A house or money to buy a house for another Catholic Worker center.
  7. Your ongoing love and support.

February 2018 Newsletter

“I thank my God whenever I think of you, and every time I pray for all of you I pray with joy, remembering how you helped to spread the good news from the first day you heard it right up to the present.”   (Philippians 1)

Dear Friends,                                                                                                            Feb. 2018

After 40+ years of feeding, clothing, sheltering and educating the poor in the name of Christ, it is crystal clear that our work of love cannot be done ALONE. There are two ways to organize the poor. As far as one’s own arm will reach is one way and another is to work with others and reach as far as their arms will reach. Working with others is far superior. Over the years, Sr. Joan (RIP), Sr. Mary Jane, Ronnie, Jan, Aida, Susan, Jerry, Dennis, Nancy, Paul, Walter(RIP), Sheri, Larissa, Kim & Fred, Linda & Denny, Al (RIP), Max (RIP), Tensi, Joe, Marianne, Fumi, Doug and many, many others have lived and worked full time at the Catholic Worker House in Redwood City. These women and men have built the Worker here. For all of them, I will be forever grateful, and in my prayers, I constantly thank God for their gifts.

In addition to these full time, live-in jewels, there is a holy host of part time volunteers who have made our work possible. I would like to highlight just two who are currently reaching farther than I ever could and these two represent hundreds of other part time volunteers.

Pam Hitchcock is a retired legal secretary and has been teaching at our English Language School for over 20 years. When Sr. Mary Jane retired, Pam continued to teach and has taken over all of the coordination of the other 20+ volunteer teachers and the 65+ students (adults and children). Under Pam’s wise and strong guidance, not only has the school continued, but it has thrived. A hallmark of our school since the beginning (under Sheila Cockshott & others) has been JOY. As students and teachers share the hard work of learning a new language, JOY continues to be married to LEARNING and the Word of God becomes flesh.


Pam Hitchcock (center) with student, and tutor at the Language School.

In the 1970’s Dennis Kent was a full time, live-in Catholic Worker, and he organized what we call our Friday food distribution. As the first coordinator of our Food Program, Dennis set the tone by recruiting people from the food line to help sort and distribute the food to others in need.

For more than 15 years, Jake Messina has coordinated our Food Program. He organizes 12 women and men to unload, sort and distribute thousands of pounds of free fresh vegetables to the poor. These men and women all come from the food line just as Dennis planned.

food program crew

Jake in light  colored sweater in the center of the community workers who came this day. 

Jake was born and raised in Sicily – he has a bit of an accent. His Italian prepared him to speak Spanish and he periodically throws in a little Portuguese for good measure. From Sicily, Jake migrated to France then Germany and then to the USA where he built a wonderful life. Jake has never forgotten his humble beginnings and he has a soft spot in his big heart for immigrants. He remembers! He remembers being vulnerable. He remembers being helped and working hard to make it. He is so grateful to God and this country for his blessings. He just wants to share the wealth. So, he shares free FOOD with the poor many of whom are immigrants.

Every Friday a team of 6 volunteer women arrive at the Catholic Worker House at 7am to clean the porch, the street, and the driveway in preparation for an 11 am distribution. These 6 are eventually joined by Jake and 6 others to unload thousands of pounds of free, fresh produce from the truck. After sorting the food, they then distribute it to about 60 families. It is amazing how much food each family receives.

I stand in awe and gratitude for all of the beautiful full time live-in and part time volunteers who make up what we call the Redwood City Catholic Worker. The Body of Christ is alive and well in our midst.

Have a Holy Lent,                                                                                                                                             Larry, for all of us, living and dead


  1. FOOD in any amount.
  2. Household needs: coffee mugs, laundry detergent, dish soap, black garbage bags, tools (construction and gardening), 8 ½ X 11 white paper, zip lock bags, tin foil, cleanser, toiletries, twin bed blankets and sheets, etc.
  3. Transportation: bikes (helmets, locks. Lights), cars, trucks and RV’s.
  4. Homeless: sleeping bags, tents, matts, tarps, socks, hoodies, sweats etc. For other specifics call Susan (650) 366-4415. For those of you who do not know, our outreach specialist to homeless encampments was Doug Herbek. The men and women who live in tents love him. He has moved to live full time as a monk at the Hermitage in Big Sur. God be with him on his journey.
  5. A house or money to buy a house. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee (650) 366-4415.
  6. Shower program: Susan has begun free showers on Tues. and Wed. mornings and could use volunteers. Call Susan at 366-4415.
  7. Need a worker: gardening, painting, carpentry, hauling etc. call the Day Labor hiring program (Cesar) 650-339-2794.
  8. Your ongoing love and support.