The Appalachian Catholic Worker Farm strives to live the Gospel in light of Catholic Social Teaching. Their goal is to provide a center of spirituality and hope with and for the people of the mountains. Through programs that promote social justice. The Appalachia Catholic Worker serves local people while attempting to address both the causes and effects of poverty in the region. Students are truly immersed in Appalachia, learning about the beauty of the land, its culture and customs, through the mountain people who know it and express it best. The Catholic Worker's unique service program includes much more than just the swinging of hammers. Through hard work, simple living, a trip to coal country, social analysis, and evening reflections students will be experiencing Catholic social teaching first hand. The Appalachian Catholic Worker invites students to step out of their comfort zones, to break down stereotypes, and work to build community among the local people, as well as within the group. As Jeannie says, “This is a comfortable place to be wrestle with uncomfortable things.” Students may work at chopping, hauling, and stacking wood, fixing fence, bailing and stacking hay, gardening, house cleaning, painting, yard work, small building/demolition projects, and visiting the elderly.
The variety of opportunities to be one-on-one with people in West Virginia is truly what makes the Appalachia experience unique. Students may work at chopping, hauling, and stacking wood, fixing fence, bailing and stacking hay, gardening, house cleaning, painting, yard work, small building/demolition projects, and visiting the elderly and youth. This experience is focused on building relationships, exploring simplicity, confronting environmental justice issues, and finding community.
7-8 Wake up - Breakfast - Clean Up8-12 Work Projects (On and/or Off the Farms)12-1 Lunch1-5 Work Projects (On and/or Off the Farms)5-6 Wash Up / Cook Dinner / Free Time6-7 Dinner / Clean-up7-9 Evening Activity9-10:30 Evening Activity, Reflection11pm LIGHTS OUT
Sat: Introduction, "Appalachia 101"Sun: Movie on Appalachian CultureMon: Living Simply/ IntentionallyTues: Speaker on Appalachian IssueWed: Broadening to a Global ScopeThurs: Making Connections for Home
To understand the justice issues in our state, we will take a one-day trip to the coal fields to learn about the history of mining, and the economic and environmental impacts it has on the region.
For more information, please contact Seán Bray, Social Justice Minister, at 206.296.6079.
I had done mission work before... and this was the first time I realized that trips like this can be more about learning about other human beings than about helping 'those less privileged.' The [Belize] trip reveals common humanity and a common understanding and so both parties benefit and both cultures give equally to one another, good and bad things.