Jeff Dietrich runs in Los Angeles Marathon

Sara and Claire cheer Jeff on
Jeff Dietrich runs in City of Los Angeles Marathon

Recently we got the photos back from long time community member Jeff Dietrich’ run in the Los Angeles Marathon on March 19th. Just one week shy of his 60th birthday Jeff and long time LACW friend Dan Jiru completed the marathon. David, Sarah and Claire showed up to cheer Jeff on at various spots along the route of the maratjon, although they found it very difficult to find him in the large crowd of runners that day.


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35,000 Pounds Untreated Fecal Material Deposited Daily on Downtown Sidewalks

Downtown Los Angeles Port-Potty Removal

Two weeks ago the city removed several porta-potties located in the Skid Row area. For many of our friends on the streets this was the only restroom they had access to. Below is an advertisement that was placed in the Business Journal by a friend of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker, in an attempt to return public restrooms for the homless. Please call the mayor at (213) 922-9730 or e-mail him at and tell him you saw the advertisement from the Business Journal and that you are outraged at the lack of dignity being offered to the homeless.
   On March 31st, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa removed all portable toilets from skid row, toilets used by thousands of homeless for the past 11 years. A homeless person generates seven pounds of fecal material and over a gallon of urine each day. Now, more than 35,000 pounds of untreated human waste daily cover downtown sidewalks,exposing all to the unacceptable risk of contracting deadly diseases as they travel around the city.
   Everyone working or traveling downtown is at risk after tracking fecal material from soiled sidewalks into offices, gyms and restaurants. Contamination with even small amounts of feces can result in large outbreaks of food-borne hepatitis, salmonella or shigellosis as well as E-coli, giardia, amebibiasis, or campylobacter. Health risks are not limited to downtown. They extend to areas receiving surface runoff from skid row after rain or daily sidewalk and street cleaning. Human exposure to fecal material includes bay areas and adjacent beaches.
   The only way to prevent disease and dispose of human waste is to provide toilets.
   The mayor removed the toilets after passing an ordinance against defecating on public sidewalks. Unwelcome in semipublic restrooms of office buildings, hotels and restaurants, the homeless are forced to use public space as an open-air toilet. Instead of toilets, the homeless now get jail time.
   Call the mayor at (213)922-9730 or e-mail him at to tell him to place 80 toilets throughout the 50-block skid row. He will tell you the toilets were used for illicit activity. Some were, but all were used also for the intended purpose since huge amounts of human waste were removed twice a day by sanitation workers from all portable toilets. Now that waste is on your sidewalk.


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2006 Stations of the Cross Photos


For those who missed, or were unable to brave the weather, I have uploaded the photos from our Annual Stations of the Cross. Many thanks to Paul and Elizabeth for reading, to Donald for organizing the event and Mike for taking the photos.


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Manuel & Jorge’s new community in Mexico


Recently two Los Angeles Catholic Workers visited Manuel and Jorge’s new community in Mexico. Manuel and Jorge have settled down in the small town of Hostotipaquillo, which is in the northern part of the state of Jalisco near Magdalena and Tequila. Donald Nollar visited in march and the photos from his trip are available at:
David Gardner visited during the first week of April and his photos are available at:


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Jeff Dietrich’s 60th Birthday Party Photos


A few weeks ago Jeff Dietrich, long time member of the Los Angeles Catholic Worker for 36 years, turned 60. Dennis Apel, of the Guadalupe Catholic Worker, sent me photos of Jeff’s Birthday party at the Richmond Bar & Grill in El Segundo. For the curious the photos are online at:


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Jeff Dietrich Arrested at Iraq War Third Anniversary Demonstration

Kyle and Jeff Dietrich block door

Long time Los Angeles Catholic Worker, Jeff Dietrich, was arrested along with seven others in front of U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein’s office this morning. The demonstration was organized by Steve Gibson from the AFSC, to protest Senator Feinstein’s complacency as the war in Iraq marks a third anniversary this week.

Photos from the demonstration.


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New, and newish Catholic Worker Websites

Catholic Worker

Recently two Catholic Worker came to my attention, and they deserve to be highlighted.

The first is Dutch, pink, and Catholic Worker all around. I think this website has been around for a while, but recently received an over-haul, and a domain name change. The site has information in both English and Dutch.

The second is a new website, from the St. Francis folks in Columbia, MO. The site is neatly laid out, with quite a bit of information about the CW movement in general, and borrowing from their Dutch Bretheren, the site is as purple, as the Dutch are pink.


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Tom and Jan Honoré’s trip to Haiti


Recently two of our faithful Thursday volunteers, Tom and his wife Jan Honoré, went on a delegation to Haiti. We plan to feature the autrocities being commited in that country in our next issue of the Agitator, including an article written by Tom of his experiences there.

Photo Gallery of Tom and Jan’s trip to Haiti


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Bella R.I.P.


Last Friday, January 20, Martha’s long time friend and cat, Bella, passed away. Bella was over 21 years old and has lived at the Los Angeles Catholic Worker for the last thirteen years. Bella was laid to rest in our rose garden here at the house. Her presence with us will be missed by Martha and the rest of the LACW community.


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Volunteer Stories

Soup Kitchen Volunteers

The new volunteer stories, originally apearing in the December, 2005 issue of the Catholic Agitator are now online at:
The 2004 interviews are available at:

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FBI files on the Los Angeles Catholic Worker

It was reported in this morning’s New York Times that the ACLU has obtained documents confirming that the FBI has been spying on peace activists, included in the list are Peta, Grean Peace and the Los Angeles Catholic Worker. There are two FBI files that the ACLU has, both related to our semi-annual protest at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Those wishing to start, or add to their own files the next protest at Vandenberg will be on May 20th.
ACLU’s own report about FBI spying
ACLU’s list of FBI files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
The two files related to the Los Angeles Catholic Worker:

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David’s Atlanta Trip


I just recently returned from visiting the Open Door Community, on my way to attend the annual SOA Protest at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia. I was greeted with an over-flowing of love and hospitality so emblematic of Catholic Worker Communities.


What struck me the most was that during my short five day stay, I personally witnessed each of the six Works of Mercy listed in Matthew 25 taking place. I was able to help Tony cook and serve the soup for their Thursday lunch meal. On Saturday I was able to ride along for their monthy Hardwick Prison trip providing transportation to low-income families to visit relatives locked up in Georgia State Prisons. Many of these families would otherwise be unable to make the trip themselves either for lack of a vehicle or due to rising gasoline prices. While the families were visiting at the prison a group of us took the opportunity to visit Flanery O’Conner’s historic home in Milledgeville.


On Sunday we drove to Columbus Georgia for the SOA Protest, where I ran into former interns Elizabeth Henricks (’05), and Chris Knesrick (’04); former LACW Community Member Sheila McCarthey, former Los Angeles JVC Sara Suman and many others.


The trip ended on a high note on Monday with a protest action outside of the grand opening of Atlanta’s new aquarium. I was amazed at how colorful their signs/costumes were, and how well they integrated singing into their protest. Especially Chad’s wonderful voice starting off the protest with This Little Light of Mine.

What struck me the most is how much the Open Door Community is exactly the same as the Los Angeles Catholic Worker only completely different. Photos from my trip can be seen here.
–David Gardner


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