Visit to Catholic Worker House serves as reminder to count blessings

Visit to Catholic Worker House serves as reminder to count blessings

by Emili JohnsonStaff Writer

As a part of the community service the Multicultural Student Alliance (MSA). One of the first things we decided to do this semester was to volunteer at the Catholic Worker House in Des Moines. I had never been to the Catholic Worker House and I learned that there was not only one, but four houses that are within the organization, including a house that was converted into a library. Each house was a place where the homeless could stay, take a shower, receive a hot meal and have the chance to relax.

The house that stuck out to me the most was the library where there were pictures and news articles plastered all over the walls to celebrate the history and commitment the house has to helping the less fortunate. I was amazed with all the history and stories that surrounded me while I was in the house. I later learned that the Catholic Worker Movement was founded in 1933 by Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day in New York City. The house in Des Moines was founded in 1976.

After the tour of the houses, it was time to eat. On the menu for this particular night were hot dogs, barbeque beans, pretzels and an arrangement of cookies that would put the cookies at Pfeiffer to shame. The food was good along with all the great conversation that filled the house. laughs and chattering were all over the house and it was nice because it was such a homey atmosphere. I would have to say that the people there weren’t concerned with their financial situation. At the time, they were more concerned with their surroundings and it was almost like all these people were a family.

Junior Ali Halvorsen, a member of MSA, was also at the Catholic Worker House and felt that going to the house was a great opportunity to see what happens beyond the Simpson community.

“Honestly, it makes you appreciate everything that you have and that the little things everybody gripes about are nothing compared to what other people go through,” Halvorsen said as she left the house.

As for myself, I feel this is an experience that I’ll never forget. Being a 20-year-old college student at Simpson can make me sometimes forget the things that are really important in my life. I honestly wish that I had gone to the house sooner, but I will say to anyone that has never been to the house that this is something that will change your perspective on life and what it means to you.

What I take from this experience is a definite appreciation for the people who keep this organization alive and breathing. Through their love and care, the homeless are able to go to a place where they can be cared for. That just makes me think that, as humans, we should be helping each other rather than bringing each other down. I know that I will definitely be returning on a regular basis, so I can give back to my community and let people know that I care.