November Newsletter 2017

“That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it…So do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself…” (Matt. 6:25)


Aida brings Catholic Worker guest, Ana, to the dinner at St. Anthony’s Dining Room.

Dear Friends,                                                                 Many, many of you have visited the Catholic Worker House at 545 Cassia St. in Redwood City and have met Aida Figueroa. But for those of you who do not know her, here’s a snap shot.

Aida is the only Christian I’ve met who has intentionally made absolutely no plans for how she will afford growing old. Her only retirement plan is “God provides.” And guess what, so far it’s worked. It’s amazing!!!!

As a Benedictine nun for 28 years, Aida learned that her life is in God’s hands. As she worked and prayed as a Benedictine she was put in charge of supervising the cleaning of a Catholic Hospital. While working and praying, she found out that God cares for her as he does the birds of the air and clothes her as he does the flowers of the fields. She prays as if everything is up to God and works as if everything is up to us.

Aida with Larry at Lockheed Martin for our Good Friday Service. Lockheed Martin is the largest exporter of weapons in the US, and builds missiles that carry nuclear warheads.

Aida came to the Catholic Worker over 20 years ago (she is 86 years old) and has been a fixture ever since. When she first arrived, Larry emphatically told her: “I am not taking care of you in your old age!” She said nothing in response.

Even though Aida knows that God provides, in Benedictine fashion, she never stops working. Her current involvements include volunteering weekly with Friends of the Library, Sandwiches on Sundays, and St. Anthony’s “New to U” clothing give away. In addition to that, she is the #1 housecleaner at the Catholic Worker. She deep cleans the place every week– we’ve never been cleaner! And she helps us with all of our projects at the Worker House. She deeply believes in both praying and working.

Whatever Aida is doing, she believes in healthy living. She runs every day, practices Yoga, attends daily mass, gives and receives Jin Shin Jyutsu therapeutic massages and avoids (whenever possible) western medicine. Four years ago Aida was diagnosed with acute leukemia and has refused any and all suggested treatments (chemo, radiation, steroids, etc.) from Kaiser Hospital. She relies on her regime of healthy living, her chiropractor, and a solid prayer life. For 4 years she has been completely symptom free. Again, “God provides.

Aida, Jan and Larry working on getting the mailing out….

Her faith and good works at the Catholic Worker and throughout Redwood City are humble, innocent, and done with a kind heart. If you want to get to know how to “let go and let God,” then meet Aida.

We give thanks for the goodness of Aida and for all of you, our supporters, and of course to our God, who takes good care of all of us no matter what.


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

Aida gives a warm welcome to everyone.

P.S. Just so you know…after Aida was diagnosed with Leukemia I told her that “You can stay with us at the Worker for the rest of your life.” Her response was, “I thought so.” Isn’t life wonderful?







  1. Food in any amount, especially for Thanksgiving.
  2. Household items: paper towels, light bulbs, a very good bed (anything but a king size), umbrellas, 8 ½ X 11 white paper, paper towels, detergent, & Kleenex.
  3. Shower program needs: socks, new underwear all sizes (men and women),sweatshirts and sweatpants, body wipes for waterless showers.Call Susan for details (650) 366-4415
  4. Homeless: bottled water, sleeping bags, warm blankets, jackets, tents and camping gear, etc. Call Doug (650) 366-4415
  5. English Language School: teacher assistants (no need to speak Spanish), call Pam at (650) 365-6019.
  6. Transportation: we can use cars, trucks, vans,  R.V.’s and bikes etc. It’s a big need.
  7. A house or money to buy a house for a new center for the poor. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee. (650) 366-4415.
  8. CHRISTMAS GIFTS for families we adopt. We can also use gift certificates to Target, Safeway, Old Navy, Kmart and movie passes to Cinemark.
  9. Your ongoing love and support.



April Newsletter: Stop the Killing

As I was cuffed and stuffed into the back of a paddy wagon by one of Sunnyvale’s finest, Steve Kelly S.J. was next.  He too was cuffed.  As all of his pockets were roughly turned inside out in the futile search for weapons, I asked, “Steve, what are you giving up for Lent?””  He replied, “Apparently, everything.” (Larry Purcell)

“When he had washed their feet and put on his clothes
again he went back to the table. ‘So you understand’ he said,
“what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord, and
rightly: so I am. If I, then, the Lord and Master, have
washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet.  I
have given you an example so that you may copy what I
have done to you.’”   (John 13)

Lent 2015

Dear Friends, 

As I was cuffed and stuffed into the back of a paddy wagon by one of Sunnyvale’s finest, Steve Kelly S.J. was next.  He too was cuffed.  As all of his pockets were roughly turned inside out in the futile search for weapons, I asked, “Steve, what are you giving up for Lent?””  He replied, “Apparently, everything.”

For 4 days, 77 members of the Pacific Life Community had been at Vallombrosa Retreat Center to remember the past (Hiroshima/Nagasaki), celebrate our present friendships and plan actions in the future to “save the world” from nuclear extinction.  The arrest at Lockheed for members of the Pacific Life Community was nothing new.  Many of us had been returning to Lockheed and other sites crucial to our nuclear arsenal since the early 70’s.  In our group of 77, we don’t wear war medals or ribbons on our chests; but we probably have over 25 years of cumulative jail time for resisting war and nuclear weapons.

Pacific Life Community at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA (Photo thanks to Mike Wisniewski, L.A. Catholic Worker)

Being arrested in the name of LIFE should not come as a surprise to Christians – especially as we celebrate Holy Week.  When we re-enact the life, death and life-in-death of Jesus, we remember the past, celebrate the present, and hope for a better future – all of this centered on Jesus who was arrested.  One of the earliest chroniclers of the Jesus story was the Disciple Paul and Paul wrote a number of his encyclicals from jail.

“I, the prisoners of the Lord, implore you therefore to lead a life
worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in
complete selflessness, gentleness and patience.  Do all you can
to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you
together…..If we live the truth and in love, we shall grow in all
ways into Christ, who is the head by whom the whole body is
fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength,
for each separate part to work according to its function.  So the
body grows until it has built itself up, in LOVE.”   (Eph 4)

Paul, in prison, was simply following the example of our Lord.

As far as I know, Jesus didn’t get any more T.V. and newspaper coverage for his arrest than we did. But people of non-violence, people of the book have this belief that the TRUTH will win out.

So dear supporters, as Susan Crane, Steve Kelly S.J., Mary Jane Perrine, Ed Ehmke, Peggy Coleman, a few others and I recover from just a few days in jail, we ask you, we beg you, we implore you, in the name of God, STOP THE KILLING and stop preparing to kill.

  Have a Holy Easter.Larry2

Love and peace,

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


FOOD in any amount.

Household needs: Laptops, ipods, tablets, calculators for high school & college age teens, Simple Green cleaner, Pine Sol, garbage bags, socks, dish soap, 8 ½ X 11 paper, etc. We hope to have grant $ for 4 college students at $2,000 each.  If you want to help, call Larry (650) 366-4415.

      3.    TRANSPORTATION: Putnam Automotive recently donated to us a beautiful used car and we gave it to Guadalupe Catholic Worker. We can always use cars, trucks, bikes and any other means of transportation for the poor.

      4.   Teachers and tutors for our English Language School or our after school tutoring program.
Call Sr. Mary Jane (650 366-8315).

      5.   A house or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker House.  We need to help young disciples be able to live and work with the poor for free for the rest of their lives. Call Larry for coffee: (650) 366-4415.

      6.    If you need a painter, carpenter, hauler, gardener or other worker, call the laborers and ask for Cesar or Juan Carlos  at (650) 339-2794.

      7.   Your ongoing love and support.

Love is the Answer: February Newsletter

                        “God will wield authority over many peoples and arbitrate for mighty nations; 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. Each person will sit under their own vine and fig tree, with no one to trouble them.” (Micah 4)

Dear, dear friends,                                                                            Feb. 2015

So much of our work at the Catholic Worker is going beautifully. Teens, Vets, day laborers, and women & children have found homes. The poor receive gigantic quantities of free, fresh vegetables. Women and children are learning at our English Language School and in our tutoring program. For 40 years with God’s grace and the help of countless volunteers and supporters, we have been trying to make sense out of everyday life and the gospels.

While these works take up the bulk of our time and energy, we are acutely aware that all that we are, and all that we have, and all that we love can be gone in a FLASH. Certainly, there were moms and dads, school children, retired vets, priests and nuns living and working as hard as we do in the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Gone!!! All of their work, all of their loves, all of their homes, hospitals, schools, and convents were vaporized instantaneously.

At the Redwood City Catholic Worker for “at risk teens,” we know that all life is at RISK – we live under the sword of Damocles known as “nuclear weapons.”

At one time in the history of upright two legged creatures (not too long ago), cannibalism was a common practice. Cannibalism is now abolished. Much more recently, slavery was a common practice. Slavery is now universally condemned and its abolition is within reach. Someday, if our species has enough time, we can live in a world without war and certainly, in a world without nuclear weapons!!!

Since the early 1970’s, I (Larry Purcell) have been periodically arrested for non-violently resisting war and opposing nuclear missiles built at Lockheed/Martin in Sunnyvale, Calif. For the past 3 years Susan Crane has been living and working at the Catholic Worker for teens. Susan has spent 6 years in Federal Prison for 4 separate “Plowshare Actions” that say “yes to life and no to death.” by converting destructive weapons into useful tools of life.

As Valentines Day approaches, we want to recommit ourselves to “Love is the answer.”

God willing and with a lot of work from us, the human race will survive global warming and nuclear weapons long enough to learn to stop the killing and to love one another.

Joy and gratitude,

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

 You are all invited to two events:plc

A presentation: “Hell Fire: Lockheed/Martin and the Weapons Industry Go to Gaza” by Dalit Baum from American Friends Service Committee on Sat. Feb. 28th at 7:30 pm. Place– Vallombrosa Retreat Center 250 Oak Grove Ave. Menlo Park.

Monday March 2: A non-violent direct action at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale (light rail station at 5th and Mathilda Ave in Sunnyvale) 10 to noon. For info and details, call Susan Crane (650) 366-4415.


  1. Food in any amount.
  2. Mayra (one of our teens) will give birth to her baby in June. We need everything: crib, stroller, car seat, high chair, diapers, blankets, etc.
  1. Household items: outdoor welcome mats, lap top computer, tablet, smart phones, wheelchairs, large lightweight suit cases, Pine Sol, bikes, locks, helmets, a flat T.V., scholarships to Canada College for out teens– tuition is now $2,000 a year.
  2. A house or money to buy a house for another Catholic Worker. Call Larry for coffee (650) 366-4415.
  1. Mary Jane pleads, “We desperately need teachers of English.” And ”Speaking Spanish is not necessary to teach” in our school. Classes are from 6:30 to 8pm Monday through Thursday. For info call Sr. Mary Jane (650) 366-8315. Her final words are, “We have space, we have women who want to learn English – we need you to teach them. Thanks.”
  1. Cars, trucks, and vans – Redwood General Tire Company, in Redwood City, has generously volunteered to repair and smog donated vehicles that we will give to the poor.
  1. Day Laborers need jobs (painting, carpentry, hauling, gardening, etc). Call Cesar at (650) 339-2794. These men and women can do everything.
  1. Your ongoing love and support.


Join people all over the world in the global day of nonviolent action to close Guantanamo.

We will meet in front of Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA (Mathilda and Java Streets), from 12-1 pm to remember those still held at Guantanamo, to call for the end of indefinite detention, and to tell Lockheed that torture is immoral.May 23

On May 23rd of last year, President Obama again promised to close the detention facility at Guantánamo.  His pledge came in response to the mass hunger strike by men protesting their indefinite detention and to the renewed, global condemnation of the prison.  One year later, far too little has changed: few detained men have left the prison and hunger strikes and forced feeding continue.

It’s a well-known fact that  contractors supply interrogation services, and contractors have traditionally not been subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  Lockheed Martin has been involved in the interrogation (torture) of prisoners at US facilities in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Lockheed spokesperson Tom Jurkowsky asserts “During our period of performance at Guantanamo, our employees were under the direct authority of” the U.S. Southern Command.  “We had no authority to, nor did we, direct the actions of any military member, active or reserve.” However, prisoners who have been released say otherwise. 

Since Obama’s speech, only 12 men have been released. 154 remain, nearly all of whom have never been charged with a crime.  76 were cleared for release by the US government years ago.  56 men are from Yemen, the largest national group at Guantanamo, but they remain subject to an effective moratorium on their release based on their nationality.  No one from Yemen has been freed since the May speech.

Up to 40 prisoners continue to hunger strike, and many are being subjected to forced feeding — a practice condemned by international human rights organizations, medical associations, and members of the US Congress.   New lawsuits in US courts lay bare the extreme cruelty of the forced feeding at Guantanamo.  To quell the public outcry against the prison, the US military in December 2013 stopped reporting the numbers of hunger strikers.  More recently, it has classified their protest, in Orwellian fashion, as “long term non-religious fasting.”

During his May, 2013 speech, President Obama asked the American people: “Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are being held on a hunger strike . . . Is this who we are?”

Sadly, as we face yet another broken promise, this is what the United States remains — a country that continues to indefinitely detain and brutalize the men at Guantanamo.

Join the Catholic Workers, the Pacific Life Community, and folks from the Dorothy Stang Center of Notre Dame de Namur University for a spirited gathering on Friday, May 23, at noon in front of Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale.

For further reading, check out these articles:


Meet the New Interrogators: Lockheed Martin Chatterjee Pratap

Witness Against Torture: May 23 Global Action

Call the Redwood City Catholic Worker at 650-366-4415 for more information about the action at Lockheed Martin on May 23.


Good Friday Prayer at Lockheed Martin

Prayers for conversion of our hearts and conversion of our warmaking Empire 

About 50 people gathered at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, CA to reflect and pray about the consequences of war and empire to the earth and all life on the earth. Under the umbrella of the Pacific Life Community,  Catholic Workers, people in religious orders, students from Notre Dame de Namur Univ in Belmont, and many, many friends gathered to remember those who suffer today. Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest military contractor and a full-service weapons maker. Lockheed makes, among other things, missiles that carry trident nuclear warheads, and hellfire missiles that are used by drones. After the Stations of the Cross, three people walked up to the Lockheed Martin Gates, and when stopped by police, knelt down in prayer. Mary Jane Parrine, Ed Emhke, and Steve Kelly, SJ were cuffed and held by the Sunnyvale Police. Mary Jane was released, and has a citation that says she is charged with trespass. She has a court date in the Santa Clara Superior Court on June 4, 2014. Ed and Steve were held over Easter and were released near midnight on Tuesday, March 22.

Good Friday Call to Conversion at Lockheed Martin

Converting our hearts and our weapons….

Join  Catholic Worker communities, and the Pacific Life Community, at Lockheed Martin (Sunnyvale, CA) April 18, 2014 for the Stations of the Cross. We will meet at noon, at North Mathilda Ave and 5th Ave.


Good Friday, 2013 at Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest military contractor and a full-service weapons maker. Lockheed Martin has provided interrogators for Guantanamo Bay, built spy satellites, unmanned aircraft, cluster bombs, all sorts of military aircraft, and in Sunnyvale, builds missiles that carry nuclear warheads.

We call for the conversion of our hearts and Lockheed Martin from violence to nonviolence, from death dealing to life making. We know that the money spent on warmaking at Lockheed would create many more well paying jobs in schools, hospitals, clean energy, and general civilian use.

Everyone is welcome. Please join us.

Also, we’ll have a bake sale for the conversion of Lockheed.  Buns not Bombs! Scones not Drones!