Evangelical Poverty and the Healing of Nations , essay by your Bettertimes webservant on the connection between world peace and the way we live.

Earth Ministry , faith based (non Catholic) organization helping believers connect their spirituality with the natural world, creation, and environmental stewardship. Extensive church activity resources.

Rural Life Manifesto , 1939 document of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference.

Catholic Blessings , for farms and rural activities, from the National Catholic Rural Life Conference

Rural Life Prayerbook , from the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, a large archive of prayers.

Pope Pius XII on rural life , 1946 speech to an Italian association of farmers.

For this we stand , speech at the 1946 meeting of the National Catholic Rural Conference.

Standing on both feet: the rural homestead, a necessity , Late 1940s publication of the National Catholic Rural Conference.

Partnership with God , speech to farmers by the Bishop of Fargo at the 1941 Eucharistic Congress.

View an icon of Dorothy Day … View an icon of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Pope Affirms Right to Food , a Vatican Information Service story.

The Chesterton Page , a cyberplace for counter-cultural Catholics (and others with similar interests), flowing from an on-going conversation among readers of the Caelum et Terra magazine (1991-96), those participating are generally interested in low-tech, agrarian culture, and the apostolate of beauty.

Promote Real Economic Democracy , Pope John Paul II to the Central Institute of Co-operative Banks, June 1998

We Cannot Be Resigned to World Poverty , Pope John Paul II, full text of the Angelus homily of the feast of St. Vincent de Paul, Sept. 27, 1998. “Where are we with our commitment?. . . In the stark contrast between insensitive rich and the poor in need of everything, God is on the latter’s side. We cannot resign ourselves to the immoral spectacle of a world in which there are still people who die of hunger, who are homeless, who lack the most elementary education, who cannot find work an who are unable to receive the necessary treatment when they are ill.”

Prayer of the Holy Father for the Jubilee Year

Farming Communes , article by Dorothy Day from the February 1944 Catholic Worker,

Defines personalism as the realization that one “cannot find satisfaction in this life unless he reckons that there is only God and himself.” Discusses the difficulties of farming communes and the need to establish the communal aspects of Christianity. Dorothy Day writes, asking a question of Peter Maurin: ” ‘Do you ever become discouraged when you see our failures?’ I asked Peter. ‘No, because I know how deep-rooted the evil is. I am a radical and know that we must get down to the roots of the evil.’ And the gentle smile he turned on me was as though he said, ‘Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight steps and follow peace with all men.’ “

The Story of the Lettuce Workers , article by Dorothy Day from the May 1940 Catholic Worker about a speaking/organizing tour of the west coast. Tells of many meetings and talks around San Francisco. Recalls the union busting and violence against lettuce workers near Salinas. Laments the lack of leaders to bring Catholic social teaching to the workers. Wants “fellow travelers with the poor and dispossessed,” who will spread the Gospel, recognizing that the poor are “creatures of body and soul.”

On Pilgrimage , Dorothy Day’s column from the February 1974 Catholic Worker. Reflects on a number of economic themes: the building of churches; problems with the IRS; why they are not tax-exempt; personalist/anarchist writers and projects; Ade Bethune’s Community Corporation in Rhode Island. Extols all forms of mutual aid.

Letter on Hospices , by Dorothy Day from the January 1948 Catholic Worker. Describes how Catholic Worker houses are run and the struggles with living the ideal of Christian love. Reflects on reconciling freedom and order. Maintains the primacy of the spiritual. Gives her positions on cooperation, house leadership, handling money, and the relation of the Catholic Worker to the hierarchy. Concludes by emphasizing the little way and voluntary poverty. YES, you too could start a Catholic Worker House. We did.

Ecumenical Rosary , a new devotion that uses Rosary beads, the miracles of Christ, and prayers that both Protestants and Catholics can be comfortable praying.

A Vision of Peace and Worship , from the Society of St. John, a “narrative of a Catholic City for our times.” The Catholic City: One body in Christ , by Tom Storck, from their on-line library. This article discusses the challenges that the traditional American attitudes of individualism and Puritanism pose for such a community.

Web of Creation , transforming faith-based communities for a sustainable world. Lots of online resources for spirituality and ecology, including advocacy, solidarity, lifestyle, liturgy, prayer, and worship.

What do the simple folk do? , Dorothy Day tries to answer the question ” How can we believe in a Transcendent God when the Immanent God seems so powerless within time, when demonic forces seem to be let loose?” Points to examples of transcendence in human experience: hope for happiness in intentional communities and love of neighbor, the word of God, miracles, bearing the suffering of others, martyrdom, and delight in loving God.

Poverty is to care and not to care , Dorothy Day reflects on the struggle to achieve voluntary poverty in small steps and for a lifetime. Notes that even honorable work involves taxes used for war. Condemns advertising for increasing desires often leading people to poverty.

On Pilgrimage , 1948, Dorothy Day’s regular column in the Catholic Worker, pacifism, distributism, the history of the movement.

Flight from the City , May 1953, by Dorothy Day in the NY Catholic Worker. Celebrates 30 years of “back to the land” advocacy.

Catholic Conservation Center , informing people about ecology, environmental justice, and the stewardship of creation in light of the teachings of the Bible and the Catholic tradition. Has an extensive section of quotes from the Bible and Catholic popes and bishops and councils. In particular, see Ecology Conversion , a statement by Pope John Paul II in January 2001 on this subject.

We must be custodians of nature , John Paul II on the occasion of the Jubilee of the Agricultural World.

Environmental Justice Program , US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Renewing the Earth , statement of the US Bishops.

Ecology and Religion , from the Columban Fathers, their main ecology page has other interesting links.

Colombia River Pastoral Letter ,. From the 12 Catholic bishops of the US northwest and southwest Canada.

National Ecology Commission , of the Secular Franciscan Order.

White Violet Center for Eco Justice , the Sisters of Providence, St. Mary in the Woods, Indiana, have turned their mother house into an eco-justice center, featuring a Community Supported Agriculture program in which neighbors can buy shares in the organically grown vegetables and fruits grown by the sisters. They have also built a straw bale retreat house. All of their cropland is state-certified organic. Their site is beautiful, and has lots of interesting, well-written details about their projects and activities.

Mary’s Gardens , a garden devoted to plants traditionally associated with Mary. Lots of material here, including plant lists.