St. Francis Catholic Worker Madison

St. Francis Catholic Worker Spirituality



The Catholic Worker is dedicated to realizing the call to universal brotherhood and sisterhood. We are all one family.

If we can see our neighbors as family we will not keep ourselves above them in any way as they are a part of us. That is why one of the hallmarks of Catholic Worker spirituality is to seek to live in solidarity with the poor. If one of the least among us is suffering in poverty then we too suffer. This is closely related to the spirituality of St. Francis who chose to be poor to see all creation as his relative.

Central to the mission of the Catholic Worker is the message of non-violence. We aim to see those who might disagree with us as friends, not enemies. Violence occurs when one projects one's inner struggles onto his or her neighbor. Rather then take this approach we seek a genuine encounter with other individuals transforming relationships of conflict into relationships of love and trust. We trust in God’s transforming incarnational presence in each one of us as we work towards greater communion with our fellow creatures.

The Catholic Worker takes as its core directives the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. These guide us in living out our mission.

The Corporal Works of Mercy
  • To feed the hungry;
  • To give drink to the thirsty;
  • To clothe the naked;
  • To harbour the harbourless;
  • To visit the sick;
  • To ransom the captive;
  • To bury the dead.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy
  • To instruct the ignorant;
  • To counsel the doubtful;
  • To admonish sinners;
  • To bear wrongs patiently;
  • To forgive offences willingly;
  • To comfort the afflicted;
  • To pray for the living and the dead.

For more, see our Resources page.

Peace and blessings!