On Wednesday, November 1, at our weekly 6pm Liturgy, our longtime friend and fellow resister, Fr. Chris Ponnet, baptized former community members Alecia Stuchlik and Eddie Pilolla’s two children, Hazel and Jesse. It was a joyous occasion with community members Jesse and Martha Lewis as witnesses/godparents.
In the top left photo is the Pilolla family, including Eddie’s mom. Top right is Hazel being baptized. Lower left is Jesse being baptized. Lower right is Alecia singing a song she wrote dedicated to their children. It was an honor to have Ed and Alecia decide to have their children baptized at the LACW. Our prayer is for Hazel and Jesse to grow in God’s love and be guided by the Spirit throughout their lives.
The LACW celebrates the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) on November 1 & 2 (All Saints and All Souls Day in the Catholic tradition) to remember, honor, and celebrate the lives of family, friends, and mentors who have gone before us. The altar usually stays up until just before Thanksgiving. The top left photo is our altar for 2017, top right photo is house guest Alberto’s wall display, bottom left and right are figures on the altar (double click on photos to view in high resolution).
On Wednesday, October 25, the LACW along with LA CAN, Black Lives Matter LA, and others, gathered on the steps of L.A. City Hall to protest the lack of toilets and hand-washing stations on Skid Row to help combat the Hepatitis A outbreak. While there was a press conference and rally on the outside, and the dumping of collected used disposable hand towels in the portico area, several men and women went inside and occupied 4th floor restroom stalls for more than four hours, placing signs on each stall door (see below). There were no arrests. This LINK is to the L.A. Times coverage. See this LINK for a short video. And this LINK and this LINK for more press coverage.
A few LACW community members hit the streets on Skid Row today and collected a trash bag of used disposable towel wipes that we handed out as well as signatures on a toilet, all of which will be used in our city hall toilet action this Wednesday, October 25, at 10am. We have also collected a few trash bags full of used disposable wipes on kitchen serving days, which all combined, will be used in this action. We ask and encourage anyone who can join us on Wednesday to please contact us at 323-267-8789 or at [email protected] by Tuesday evening or show up at city hall, at First and Main, Wednesday morning at 9:45am.
This nonviolent action is in response to the Hepatitis “A” outbreak on Skid Row and the lack of concern by city officials to provide portable toilets and hand-washing stations as recommended by a recent study, which found that toilets on Skid Row are less accessible than in Syrian refugee camps. The study recommended that 107 portable toilets and hand-washing stations be installed in the 50 square block area on the eastern edge of downtown known as Skid Row, which has a homeless population of approximately 4000 people. Again, if you can afford the time, please join us. As an added note, Governor Brown recently DECLARED a state of emergency over the Hepatitis A outbreak in which 19 people have already died.
The LACW will have a table at the upcoming 2017 Los Angeles Anarchist Book Fair on Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29 at Leimert Park Village, located on W. 43rd Pl between Degnan Blvd & Leimert Blvd, L.A. 90008. Parking available ($2/day) on 43rd and Degna. If you are looking for good reading material, this is the place and time to browse and purchase. See you there. See this LINK for more info.
(COVID-19 NOTICE: Wednesday Liturgy gatherings at the Hennacy House are currently not open to the public, as we are currently asking visitors not to come to the house as we have a number of vulnerable people living there. Please continue to be with us in these challenging times by keeping our community and the people of Skid Row in your prayers.)
If you are not aware, the LACW has a weekly liturgy each Wednesday evening and we welcome anyone who is interested to join us. We begin at 6pm followed by a potluck dinner and socializing. Our liturgies vary from having ordained ministers/priests presiding or lay presider(s) depending on availability of our ordained friends. All of our liturgies are ecumenical and we have a shared reflection on the biblical readings used or on a subject matter within our heart, though open sharing is not obligatory. Please join us in these difficult and distressing times for spiritual enrichment and to form community with the breaking of bread and sharing of cup. It is an evening well spent. ALL are welcome.
This LINK is to the Skid Row story. Although somewhat dated, it is very relevant to understanding the many issues affecting the area near downtown called Skid Row. Jeff and Catherine (among other Skid Row activists) are interviewed for this 27 minute audio documentary (by 99% Invisible) on the history of Skid Row and the struggles of its residents.
While the Hepatitis A outbreak announced by Los Angeles Health officials in September may come as no surprise to readers of C3’s study in July, which found that toilets on skid row are less accessible than in Syrian refugee camps, L.A. City Council members are still just talking about a plan for portable toilets, but have yet to take action. This is nothing short of insanity and an absolute lack of concern as the health and well-being of thousands lies in the balance.
This week, October 9-13, L.A. Catholic Workers and allies are calling Councilman Jose Huizar’s office at 213-473-7014 to demand that the 107 portable toilets and hand washing stations called for in C3’s study immediately be placed on the streets.
Next week, October 16-20, we will call Mayor Eric Garcetii with the same message, and on Wednesday, October 25, expect an update about a nonviolent action for toilet justice, and life itself, at City Hall.
In the next few weeks we can affect whether the city responds to this crisis in a just and sane way or not.
PLEASE HELP US OBTAIN JUSTICE BY CALLING CITY HALL AND JOINING US FOR A NONVIOLENT ACTION.
On Friday, September 29, Kate Hennessy, granddaughter of Catholic Worker Co-founder Dorothy Day, visited the LACW to do a reading from her new book, Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved By Beauty and talk about her life with her mother (Tamar) and grandmother and answer questions.
As the writer in the family, Kate’s new book is not the usual Dorothy Day biography or Catholic Worker movement narrative, but a very intimate portrait of Dorothy’s family life, specifically the relationship between Dorothy and her daughter Tamar (Kate’s mom). It is an excellent read and quite revealing, sometimes painfully so. (See an interview with Kate, and a review of her book, in the August, 2017 issue of the Catholic Agitator)
On Sunday, September 24, the LACW hosted its First Annual Art Show with art work by LACW community members, guests, and friends. There were displays throughout the house and outside around the property. There was a self-guided tour to see the various pieces of art donated over the years hanging on the walls throughout the house. Several pieces of art by our house guest Alberto and from Casa Calibri, our sister house in Mexico, also were sold. See photos HERE.