November Newsletter 2016

Give thanks to Yahweh, for she is good,
Her love is everlasting!
Give thanks to the God of gods,
His love is everlasting!
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
His love is everlasting.       (Psalm 136)

Dear Friends,
      As Thanksgiving approaches, we bow to our God and to our supporters in deep deep gratitude for all of the gifts that make our lives and work possible.
So much is happening!!!  Susan Crane (who lives and works at our home for teens) and two other supporters (Ed Ehmke and Mary Jane Parrine) are off to North Dakota.  They will stand with our Native American brothers and sisters in solidarity.  They and hundreds of others will non-violently and prayerfully oppose the oil pipeline that threatens sacred burial grounds, towns and waterways, that service millions downstream.  Again and again big oil interests threaten and destroy life.
Erika and her two sons have just moved into our home for children “at risk.”
         The boys are in Hoover School and their mom just got a full time job. They need everything.  With your donations we purchased school uniforms, shoes, jackets, underwear and a few other things.  As soon as mom saves money for car insurance, we’ll find a donated car so she can shuttle the kids to school and herself to a better job.
           Another young woman (a student from Notre Dame University in Belmont) just joined us for the rest of this school year.  She is from the Middle East and had no place to live.  Believe me, it’s complicated!  She joins Marissa (another Notre Dame student).  Marissa used to live with us when she was a little girl and is one of the teens that we have been helping with a $2,000 scholarship.  In addition to 15 academic units, Marissa is also working almost full time.
Aida, Susan and I (Larry) have been at the house for years.  Doug is our newest live-in worker.  A lawyer, a graduate of the Peace Corps, and former monk, and with some experience at other Catholic Worker Houses, Doug comes with loads of talent and history.  God willing, he’ll be here a while too.
In addition to our home on Cassia Street (for children in need) which is totally free, we continue to offer very, very low cost housing to 12 day laborers and six families.  In these residences, the first month is free, December is free, and if you lose your job, then your minimal stipend for room and board is forgiven. This is bad capitalism at work and is the way Christians can treat one another.
Altogether, each night, we help house about 25 people, not counting the campers on our front porch. By the way, after 2 years of working with veterans, we’ve decided that they need “care” and “management” that we can’t provide.  I must say, that when I write this it feels like a defeat.
This Thanksgiving and Christmas, we will adopt over 300 families with food and gifts.  All of our work relies on the grace of God and the Body of Christ, which you all are.

Thank God we are in good hands.
Peace and gratitude,
            Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Mary Jane Floyd, Jan Johanson, J Arthur White,
Aida Figueroa, Susan Crane and Doug Herbek


  1. Food in any amount.
  2. Holiday needs:  gift certificates to Safeway, Target, Old Navy, Payless Shoes,movie passes (Cinemark), and unwrapped gifts for children and adults including the homeless, and men & women in convalescent care, etc.
  3. Household needs:  garbage bags. laptop computers  (for high school and college age children), plant food and soil additive for our garden, tickets to events, toilet cleanser,  combs and brushes, electronic gadgets for out teens, and any vehicles (cars,  trucks, vans, or RV’s.)
  4. A house or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker center. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee.
  5. Teachers for our English Language School. Call Pam 365-6019.
  6. Tutors for our afterschool tutoring program. Call Sr. Mary Jane (650) 366-8315.
  7. Your ongoing love and support.

“Always Be Grateful” November 2014 Newsletter

“Always be grateful.” (St. Paul the Apostle)

Dear Friends,                                                                                                                           Thanksgiving ‘14

The Giants won the pennant!!!! The Giants won the World Series!!!! How could life get any better for us diehard Gigantes fans? I’ll tell you how, but first I digress.

In early November a group of Catholic Worker supporters (Jim McGarry from the University of Notre Dame Dorothy Stang Center, a few Notre Dame Sisters, and Butch & Lynn Shafsky & friends) collaborated with us to open a new home for women in Redwood City. Our first guest there is Veronica (age 43, needs hearing aids, and has diabetes). Veronica has a daughter on full scholarship (tuition, room and board) at Notre Dame University. Prior to moving into her new abode, Veronica lived in a U Haul storage shed. Her new 1 and a half bedroom apartment was donated by one of our other supporters. Veronica will not pay rent for the first month and since December (Christmas) is always free, she will have the first two months free. Once she gets a job, her room, board, and utilities will never be more than ¼ of her income. If she has no income, then everything is free.

Now back to my question. As much as I love the Giants, as excited as we were when they won, it breaks my heart to know that Fred (our local resident Vet) lived in a tent in the mudflats for two years and that Veronica lived in a storage unit, and that Day Laborers get crammed into a rental unit in sleeping bags rolled out right next to one another, and that men & women need to sleep on our front porch and that Ingrisd spent a year in prison seeking asylum until Susan welcomed her to another home for women. Life can be much, much better than the Giants winning the World Series.

It is true that we beg for everything at the Catholic Worker House. It is also true that we live like kings. We have homes, beds, toilets, showers, cars, hot water, phones, clothes, medicine, T.V.’s etc. ALL THAT WE HAVE IS A GIFT.

This Thanksgiving we turn to God and you, our supporters, to say “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” And we pray that life will become a lot better for sisters and brothers in need. I agree with Peter Maurin who helped found the Catholic Worker:

The world would be better off
if people tried
to become better,

And people would
become better
if they stopped trying
to be better off.

For when everyone tries
to become better off
nobody is better off.

But when everyone tries
to become better
everyone is better off.

Everybody would be rich
if nobody tried
to become richer.

And nobody would be poor
if everybody tried
to be the poorest

And everybody would be
what he ought to be
if everybody tried to be
what they want
the other person to be.


For decades, non-violent peace activists in the Bay Area and throughout the western states have joined together to stop the insanity of nuclear weapons and transform weapons of mass destruction into low cost housing, rapid transit, alternative energy and sane living that contributes less to global warming. We demand that our government spend less on weapons and more on job-creating priorities like education, health, and the environment.

On Sunday, March 1st 2015, at Vallombrosa Retreat Center in Menlo Park, we will host an evening dedicated to PEACE. All are invited. On Monday, March 2nd you are also invited to a non-violent direct action against war and for life at Lockheed/Martin Corp. in Sunnyvale. Lockheed is the largest weapons manufacturer in the world. For details, call Susan or Larry at (650) 366-4415.

Peace and gratitude,
Larry for all of us


  1. Food in any amount. We now house over 25 people a night at various locations in Redwood City (two homes for Day Laborers, 2 residences for VETS, 2 apartments for women and children and our home for troubled teens).
  1. Household needs: socks, hand soap, Turkeys or Safeway gift certificates for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, a volunteer carpenter to replace kitchen counters and repair our front porch, Kleenex, paper towels, Pine Sol etc
  1. Christmas gifts for the families & teens we serve: gift certificates to Target, Old Navy, Payless shoes, Movie passes (Cinemark), music, clothing, jewelry, or anything teens and children love. We do have a number of smaller children in our communities now. (ages 6-12).
  1. Tutors for our English Language School to help small children with homework. Call Sr. Mary Jane (650) 366-4415.
  1. Jobs for Day Laborers: call Cesar at (650) 339-2794
  1. Your ongoing love and support.