Our History

The vision of the Iowa City Catholic Worker House was born, rather humbly, in the rectory of St. Patrick Church in Iowa City, Iowa; shortly after Pope Francis addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress on September 24, 2015. In his speech, Pope Francis called Catholic Worker Movement co-founder Dorothy Day a “representative of the American people” and one of four Americans to emulate.

We went public with our community vision on May 1, 2016 and bought our first house of hospitality two months later on July 1, 2016. By August, two released convicts and a homeless single mother with children were among the first guests to move in. We started our weekend meal program in February 2017.

In December of 2018, we sponsored our first refugee family out of border detention and haven’t looked back since. Thanks be to God and the hundreds of supporters, donors, volunteers, and community members who make this work possible.


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