Mark and Louise Zwick Present Catholic Worker Movement Convocation

April 13, 2010

'For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' ' Matthew 25:36


These words are the mission of the Catholic Worker Movement as presented by Mark and Louise Zwick in Presser Recital Hall on the Mount Union College campus on Thursday, October 27.

The Zwicks shared with the audience their faith in the Catholic Worker Movement and tales of their lives helping immigrants through the principles of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, the founders.

Together the Zwicks, through inspirations of Day and Maurin, gave up their professional lives to follow their hearts and beliefs of helping those in need, mainly immigrants and refugees.

They spent time in El Salvador, but because of the violence there in the late 1970s, they returned home to work with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers in California.

In 1980, the Zwicks founded Casa Juan Diego in Houston, Texas under the beliefs of the five guiding principles of the movement ' personalism, voluntary poverty, pacifism, prayer and hospitality.

'Twenty-five years ago we established Casa Juan Diego as a way to respond to the many immigrants and refugees escaping from the war ravaged El Salvador, Nicaragua and Gautemala,' said Mark. 'It was very challenging starting out because there was no government funding for refugees because they were considered undocumented.'

What originally started out as rented property, Casa Juan Diego, has survived two fires and has grown from a small house to fifteen houses.

'What keeps us going is the many stories of the immigrants,' said Mark. 'Seeing refugees with nothing anxious for a chance to work and hearing what they have gone through to get here is so rewarding.'

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