The Holy Family Did Not Have Papers: December 2015 Newsletter

“After they (wise men from the East) left, the angel of the Lord
appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child
and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt’….”  (Matt. 2:13)

Dear friends,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Christmas 2015

The Holy Family, undocumented immigrants, ran for their lives across the border into Egypt – the empire that had enslaved their ancestors.

The picture of a small child, fully clothed, face down and dead, in the sea that kisses Egypt haunts me.  The child still has his shoes and socks on and is neatly dressed, deeply loved.  He could have been ours.  He is ours.  He could have been the baby Jesus.  He is part of the Body of Christ.

The sound of dissent today includes suicide bombers, drones with cruise missiles, and heavily armed armies on the march. Caught in the midst of unspeakable violence are millions of ordinary men, women and children of many faiths – all running for their lives. They are leaving everything to escape violence.  The Jews did this during WWII and they were joined by millions of Italians, Germans, Poles, Russians and others.  Ordinary people – on the move – are the body of Christ fleeing violence.  They are the People of God crossing the desert.

This Christmas, in addition to figuring out what we will buy for our loves, we (as a country) need to decide if we are going to welcome the stranger, house the homeless, open the door when there is a knock, and see Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters.

Catholic Worker Houses are known for opening our doors to the homeless – we do not require papers.  We do not need proof of citizenship since we believe that we are all one family, with one God, living on Earth our common home.  During Mass on Sundays, we sing “All Are Welcome;” and during the week we try to live that at the Catholic Worker.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, may God’s light shine on the families of the world as we welcome them to our part of Earth.  As we celebrate Christmas with gifts, may Peace find a home on Earth as we struggle to end the violence. Christmas is a time for children, for life, for joy.  May God bless the children of the world.


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


  1. Food in any amount.

     2.  Household needs:  Kleenex, candles, garbage bags, laundry detergent, musical instruments (a guitar or keyboard & amplifier), sleeping bags, tarps, tents, ponchos and socks for
homeless, CD players, shampoo & conditioner, toiletries etc.

      3.  English Language School and Tutoring programs:  We need tutors in the afternoons. You would be helping young children with homework.
           Call Sr. Mary Jane at (650) 366-8315. By the way, we are so glad that Mary Jane is back in Redwood City with us. God is good.

      4. Day Laborers:  If you need gardeners, haulers, carpenters, plumbers, craftsmen, or handymen, call Cesar or Juan Carlos (day laborer organizers) and they will find just the worker for you.                 Call (650) 339-2794.

      5. Transportation: After housing and food, the next priority for the poor is transportation.  We need bikes, bike lights & locks, cars, trucks, vans, and mobile homes.
Call Susan or Larry at (650) 366-4415.

      6. A home or money to buy a home for a new Catholic Worker Center.  Call Larry for a free cup of coffee.  (650) 366-4415. 

       7.  Your ongoing love and support.


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