EPISODE 7: Faith Lands

In this episode we explore the works and service of farm-based Catholic worker communities in the upper Midwest. Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic workers, was highly devout and profoundly independent: she emphasized direct action for peace and justice, and direct service for the poor. This radical ministry has always lain outside the institution of the church, and the formal wealth of the Catholic orthodoxy. But this is changing, inspired by the energetic commitment of Catholic workers.

Some Dominican Catholic sisters have invited workers to work their Monastic lands. This is inter-generational transfer in the commons. None of these people own the land, as it is held by the institution, but the negotiations, and strategic vision for land-use reflects the practices of charity, service and local economic relationships which are common to the faith.

Around the country many thousands of churches own agricultural land that could be put to God’s work, for food justice, land access, new immigrants, community gardens and organic farming. Could America’s churches act as a fulcrum of land access for the incoming generation, and could we build adequate institutional support for church-decision makers such that aging parishioners can gift their farmlands into a faith-held commons for the benefit of the future?

More Resources:

Mustard seed, Journal of the Catholic workers

The Catholic Worker newspaper

Water justice work, detroit

Anti racism training

FaithLands conference, Paicines Ranch

Agriculture Conference Harvard Divinity School

Jobs to consider:

Greenhorns Radio segments related to this episode:

This episode sponsored by: Guayaki

If you’re interested in supporting “Our Land” with a donation, please get in touch with Ethan at ethan@thegreenhorns.org.