Loebsack confronted by refugee and Catholic workers at Quad-Cities forum

Quad City Times, February 16, 2020

Juliza Aguilar and two representatives from the Iowa City Catholic Worker House, Emily Sinnwell and Jane Noble Davies, confronted U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, during Loebsack’s “Coffee With Your Congressman” meeting at Hy-Vee, 2900 Devils Glen Road, Bettendorf, on Saturday morning.

The women said they wanted to know why Loebsack had not added his signature to the list of 112 House Democrats who signed a letter addressed to Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, demanding the Remain in Mexico program be stopped and that asylum seekers be granted a fair process.

Refugee families given gift of play day at Iowa Children’s Museum in Coralville

Cedar Rapids Gazette, December 26, 2019

With the help of friends and the Catholic Worker House, former Children’s Museum director Deb Dunkhase treated five refugee families to a chili lunch and a few hours of relaxed play in the museum. The kids had free rein to explore the museum and play. The families also were each given “Santa dollars” to use in the museum gift shop.

One Year After They Arrived In Iowa City, Honduran Asylum Seekers Are Hopeful For New Year

By   DEC 24, 2019 – Iowa Public Radio

On Christmas Day of 2018, a Honduran mother and her young son arrived in Iowa City, after fleeing gang violence in their home country. One year later, their asylum request is still pending, but they’re feeling hopeful for the New Year.

Group in Johnson County practices how to respond to ICE raid, de-escalating violence

KCRG Channel 9 NEWS, December 6, 2019

A group in Johnson County trained on how to respond to potentially violent scenarios, such as an immigration raid on a church.

Davenport Diocese Bishop accompanies refugee to ICE check-in in Cedar Rapids

KWWL News – November 27, 2019

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — In an ongoing effort to accompany refugees to their ICE check-ins, a bishop of the Davenport Diocese joined alongside the catholic worker house to escort a Mexican refugee to his first meeting. … Bishop Thomas Zinkula of the Davenport Diocese heard about the journeys of the refugee families that live [at the Iowa City Catholic Worker House]. “For whatever reason they’re here, whether they deserve asylum or to be here, all that, that’s secondary. They are here, and they are vulnerable and they have needs and we need to be there for them. How can we just ignore that?” Zinkula said.

Catholic presidential candidate Julian Castro attends ICE hearing with Honduran refugee

Erin Jordan, Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 13, 2019

“Today is a day I couldn’t have hoped for,” Robinson Palacios said through an interpreter, pausing to wipe away tears and lift the leg of his jeans to show an ankle free of the bracelet used to track his movements as an undocumented immigrant facing deportation from the United States.

2020’s Most In-Depth, People-Powered Forum Just Happened in Iowa

John Nichols, the Nation Magazine, September 23, 2019

Des Moines, Iowa – The crowd was multiracial, multiethnic, urban and rural, all ages, mostly from Iowa but also from other states where People’s Action is working with its growing network of organizations on a 2020 agenda that the group’s national director, George Goehl, sums up as “defeating white nationalism and advancing a big, bold agenda.”

Asylum-seekers call on Congressman Loebsack to stop ICE in Iowa, support refugees

By Taylor Holt August 31st, 2019

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) Growing safety concerns for refugee families in Eastern Iowa was the topic of discussion in a meeting between families and Rep. Dave Loebsack. The Congressman visited the Catholic Worker House in Iowa City Friday.

Critics call on Iowa companies to stop federal contracts tied to immigration enforcement

By Kayla James, KGAN ABC2, August 16, 2019

Critics of President Trump’s immigration policies are now setting their sights on Iowa companies working with the administration’s efforts on the border.

They want them to cut ties with federal agencies tied to immigration raids and border detention.

Migrant Families, Advocates Take Their Cases To Loebsack

By Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio August 14 President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy is keeping some Johnson County families apart. Families, clergy and advocates from the Iowa City Catholic Worker House and the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement packed in to a conference room at Loebsack’s office in Iowa City recently. They carried carried signs that read “Liberty And Justice For All” and “Families Belong Together And Free.”

Honduran family from migrant caravan awaits asylum hearing

By Erin Jordan, Cedar Rapids Gazette
Sunday, August 4, 2019 Torres-Toro shared her story with about 150 Catholics at the Davenport Diocese’s Vision 20/20 conference in June. She also has taken an active role in the Catholic Worker House. “I do what I can to help,” Torres-Toro said. “When new people come, I want to help them, too.”

Honduran man facing deportation breathes sigh of relief

Hillary Ojeda, Iowa City Press-Citizen
Published 5:22 p.m. CT July 26, 2019

Afro-Honduran asylum-seeker Jose Robinson Palacios, 32, was expecting the ICE agents to tell him the worst. Members of the Iowa City Catholic Worker House sat with him as he waited.

Mom, infant separated from family at Mexico border find help in Iowa City

John Steppe, Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 24, 2019

Juliza and her husband, Alejandro Edenilson Cortez Amaya, left El Salvador and crossed the U.S. border at El Paso, Texas, on May 19. They were separated two hours after arriving and held at separate detention facilities. She was released to the Catholic Worker House and he was returned to Mexico to await his asylum hearing.


Catholic Worker members demand action against camps at the border

by Hillary Ojeda, Iowa City Press-Citizen, July 17, 2019

About 30 members from the Iowa City Catholic Worker House gathered in U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack’s office Tuesday and told his staff he’s not doing enough to close detention camps at the southern U.S. border.

Iowa City Catholic Worker House helps refugee families

by John Steppe, Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 17, 2019

Ayestas Romero and his family are in Iowa City while they go through the process of seeking asylum. It’s part of the Iowa City Catholic Worker House’s effort to support refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

Catholic Worker House raises $20,000 for refugees

by Hillary Ojeda, Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 27, 2019

The Iowa City Catholic Worker House raised over $20,000 toward legal fees and costs of living for migrants seeking asylum in Iowa after launching a campaign Thursday, on National Refugee Day.

Asylum seekers speak at panel

by Kate Pixley, Daily Iowan, April 3, 2019


Legal scholars, asylum seekers, and human rights advocates delivered testimonials at the Iowa City Public Library.

Honduran Family Finds Shelter, Seeks Asylum in Iowa City

by Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio, December 27, 2018

A mother and son from Honduras have found shelter in Iowa after traveling with thousands of migrants from Central America. The family arrived in Iowa City on Christmas Day, after fleeing gang violence in their home of Choloma, Honduras.

Iowa City doctor helps homeless with free foot care

by Katie Ann McCarver, the Daily Iowan, November 25, 2018

In an effort to engage the homeless community of Iowa City, Mercy Iowa City family physician Tom Novak, aided by family members and other volunteers, offers a foot-care clinic for impoverished people every month.

Iowa City’s ‘little free pantries’ provide daily, immediate relief

by Hillary Ojeda,  Iowa City Press-Citizen, November 20, 2018

They’re not always in plain sight and could be easily confused with the abundant Little Free Libraries in Iowa City, but a few ‘little free pantries’ are just as in demand if not more.

Doctor in Eastern Iowa sets up free foot care clinic at Catholic Worker House

by Jordee Kalk, KCRG TV9, October 23, 2018

Dr. Tom Novak is a family medicine doctor at Mercy Family Medicine in West Branch. Once a month he puts on a free foot clinic at the Iowa City Catholic Worker’s House

Dorothy Day’s granddaughter-author leaves lasting impression

by Elizabeth M. Starr and Barb Arland-Fye, The Catholic Messenger – October 4, 2018
Kate Hennessy said she and her mother Tamar, the daughter of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker, “spent decades trying to figure out who Dorothy Day was.” Plenty has been written about the late social justice advocate, including her own thoughts in the Catholic Worker newspaper and in other publications. But none of it touched on the Dorothy Day that her family knew and loved.

Kate Hennessy tour sparks collaboration in Iowa City Catholic organizations

by Elizabeth M. Starr, The Catholic Messenger – September 20, 2018

IOWA CITY —The University of Iowa Newman Catholic Student Center, Tau Omega and Catholic Worker House are hosting an event featuring Kate Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day and author of “Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty.”The event will be held Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Newman Catholic Student Center and is open to the public.

Dorothy Day granddaughter to speak in Davenport

by Alma Gaul, Quad City Times – September 8, 2018

The granddaughter of Dorothy Day, a prominent Catholic, writer, social activist, and co-founder of a movement dedicated to serving the poorest, will speak Thursday, Sept. 27, at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.

In addition to being Day’s granddaughter, Kate Hennessy also is an author, having written “Dorothy Day: The World Will be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother.”

She will speak from 6:30-8 p.m. at Christ the King Chapel, 518 W. Locust St.

Iowa City Catholic Worker establishes community land trust

by Lindsey Steele, Catholic Messenger – August 30, 2018

In August, Iowa City Catholic Worker House announced the creation of a new community land trust that now owns the 2,800-square-foot house of hospitality at 1414 Sycamore St. The trust formally establishes the organization’s framework, ensuring that it can continue to provide hospitality and refuge to the poor and oppressed well into the future.

‘Risking it all:’ Immigrants, refugees tell of coming to United States

The Gazette – June 25, 2018

From a man who won the diversity visa lottery in Congo to a woman who escaped gangs in Honduras to seek political asylum, refugees and immigrants shared their stories Monday with children at the Catholic Worker House. Two dozen junior high students participated in a “teach-in” at the house Monday afternoon as part of a three-day summer camp called Catholics in Action. The students heard stories of the immigrants and refugees, as well as joined in on a prayer vigil and attended a bilingual Mass.

Why Dorothy Day Still Matters

By Anne Klejment – The Catholic Messenger – April 19, 2018

Dorothy Day is one of the most significant figures in the history of American Catholicism. Although she died at the age of 83 in 1980, her life and spirituality offer an example of how much good a layperson might accomplish by faithfully following the teachings of Jesus.

Free clinic provides much-needed relief for ICCW guests

By Lindsay Steele – The Catholic Messenger – March 1, 2018

Iowa City-area family physician Dr. Tom Novak and his daughter, Nicole Novak, recently approached Iowa City Catholic Worker about the idea of starting a foot clinic at Catholic Worker’s hospitality house. Nicole formerly served as a resident volunteer at a Catholic Worker house in Ann Arbor, Mich., and saw the kind of impact foot clinics had there.

Dorothy Day’s granddaughter, Kate Hennessy, Speaks

Zinta Aistars – February 9th, 2018

“Don’t call me a saint. I don’t want to be dismissed so easily,” Dorothy Day said. Her granddaughter, Kate Hennessy, has done neither. She discusses her new book about her grandmother with Western Michigan University Radio

Catholic Worker Houses Remain a Place for Protest and the Poor

Amanda Abrams – January 30th, 2018

The Catholic Worker Movement promotes simple living, nonviolence, and doing the “works of mercy,” actions like feeding the hungry and caring forthe sick. Best known are the hospitality houses, where the hosts and those in need live together like family. Catholic Workers also routinely protest violence and militarization.

ICCW Starts to Look for 2nd Property

Erin Jordan, The Gazette – December 26, 2017

The demand for emergency housing is so great in Iowa City, Catholic Worker House leaders now are preparing to buy a second house nearby to double the shelter capacity and offer more programming, said David Goodner, co-founder of the Iowa City program and a core volunteer. ‘We have a major donor who is going to buy the second house for us,’ Goodner said. The new house likely would serve as a hub for free weekday breakfasts, which have been lacking in the area, Goodner said. ‘We also want to add free haircuts, foot care clinics, and add more showers and washer/dryers so more people can do laundry and bathe.’

Regina students build Little Free Pantry for Catholic Worker House

By Lindsay Steele – July 20, 2017
IOWA CITY — It “may be but little,” to quote William Shakespeare, but the Little Free Pantry at the Catholic Worker’s hospitality house is making a big impact on neighborhood food insecurity. Catholic Worker volunteer David Goodner said people began using the Little Free Pantry, which was installed last month, right away. “We filled it twice in the first 48 hours,” he said.