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Catholic workers: The family life

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Members of the Catholic Worker Movement.
  3. Margot Patterson's article Finding Family at the Catholic Worker.
  4. Overcoming the problem of child neglect.
  5. The support of the community.
  6. Raising a family in the Catholic Worker Movement and the safety of children.
  7. Ethical issues caused by the conflict of interest.
  8. Conclusion.
  9. Bibliography.

Working parents are often faced with the daunting challenge of balancing their time between work and family. As providers, they have to work to support their family, but as parents they have to spend time with their children. Now imagine the plight of Catholic Worker parents. Just how do they split their time between helping the world and helping their children?

Founded in 1933, the Catholic Worker Movement is an unusual blend of two ideologies: conservative Catholicism and the liberal socialist thought that dominated early worker movements. The movement was founded with the goals of eradicating poverty and the unequal distribution of wealth, promoting pacifism, and providing a sense of community for its members. The Catholic Worker Movement tried to accomplish these goals by operating soup kitchens and hospitable houses for the poor and publishing a paper called The Catholic Worker, which promoted the beliefs held by the movement.

[...] However, despite these problems, I believe that it is possible to reconcile the conflict between raising a family and being a Catholic Worker. However, although it is possible to overcome these problems, it is still a difficult task, and not all families will be able to fit into the Catholic Worker Movement. For those who are able to find a compromise by taking advantage of the unique advantages of raising children in a Catholic Worker family and adapting to the few fundamental problems that arise, it is still possible to raise a happy, functional family. [...]

[...] On the one hand, Catholic Worker parents are required to champion the causes of the Movement by staging protests against government policies, which can lead to them getting arrested. On the other hand, if Catholic Worker parents get arrested and jailed, they will be unable to raise their children. Given their responsibility to their children, it would seem unethical for parents to involve themselves in activities which will render them incapable of caring for their own children. How then can parents reconcile the conflict between family life and the beliefs of the Catholic Worker Movement? [...]

[...] Given the nature of the Catholic Worker Movement, which requires its members to lead a life of poverty and give to the poor, how ethical is it for parents to subject their children to a life of poverty a life which these children never chose. When Troester asked Kate Walsh about the bad things in her childhood Kate Walsh made a comment about how her parents spent most of their money on the Catholic Worker Movement: I don't know how to explain that having a Catholic Worker is like having two or three other kids because, you know, my mom and dad don't make a lot of money. [...]

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