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Arts and Humanities | History


Ken Jones, History


The Jean Donovan Catholic Worker House grew as a response to the political, social and economic climate of the 1980s. Within the tradition of the Catholic Worker Movement, three CSB/SJU alumni endeavored to relieve the physical suffering of the poor and the social suffering of the St. Cloud area in an attempt to take action against the status quo. Through personalism, hard work and the generous help of others, the Jean Donovan House not only fed hungry people, but also helped educate the community about the social problems created by a culture of consumption and morally questionable government leadership. This thesis studies the motivation for beginning the Jean Donovan House, the life of the house and the circumstances surrounding its closing. Through studying two "generations" of the house, I found that this project was remarkably successful in meeting the needs of the people it served and setting an example for the community by providing a venue through which people may act on what they believed. I also found that for this particular Catholic Worker House, the problem with a project that is purposefully anti-structure is its lack of structure and the problem with personalism is personality.

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