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Block Party 2017

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the annual Amistad Catholic Worker Block Party on Saturday, with special thanks to Paul Bronson and Vertical Church of West Haven, who blessed us with a beautiful grill!

The grill was certainly busy as it helped our hard working grill masters make lunch and dinner. The food was plentiful, nutritious and delicious: corn on the cobb, pasta salad, pasta with and without meat sauce, hamburgers, hot dogs, sliders, rice and beans, cakes, cupcakes, watermelon, cookies, and a donation of pizza!

There was also a popcorn, cotton candy and sno-cone truck, horseshoe game, bounce house, and a sprinkler that kids could run through.

Everything started with a moving prayer service at 11am and the party went from 12-9pm. If you were unable to make it out this year, consider coming out July of 2018 to celebrate with Amistad!

Block Party.jpg


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Work for Mercy

Work for Mercy-Video

Above is the link to a song that I wrote, inspired by the great work of the Amistad Catholic Worker House. The lyrics are as follows:

Dorothy Day and MLK
Showed us a different way.
March for jobs, help the poor
Don’t go around starting wars.
We believe this legacy is to build
Beloved communities.
Reach for me, I’ll reach for you
Together we will make it through.

Chorus: Until all non-violent prisoners are free
Every day that we breathe we will work for mercy.
And no one in this world should go hungry
You don’t have to worry we will work for mercy.
Work for mercy.

They can’t build a wall to keep out love,
Our mandate is from God above.
Ban humans, keep us apart,
But the evil lives within their hearts.
We’ll rise up, we will stand tall
Justice be done though the heavens fall!
I may be black, you may be white
That doesn’t mean we have to fight.
There’s no such thing as might makes right,
We won’t back down, we’ll take back the night.
And we might not always agree
But we can live in harmony
Cuz I need you, and you need me.
Doing this work is gonna make us free.

-Chorus, Repeat Chorus and fade-


2017.  Sarah Mckenzie Raven

This song would not have been possible without the labor, guitar and background vocals of Brian C. Granger and the use of the audio studio at the Lawrence Kansas Public Library.

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Meaningful Work

Schedule Updates:

There is a Foot Care Clinic This Saturday at 5:30pm- Dinner included.

The summer dinner schedule for kids (under 18) is from 5:15-5:45PM Mon-Fri. Through August 18th.

The Annual Block Party (in front of Amistad) is Saturday July 29th. It begins with a short prayer service at 11AM and the party continues until 9PM. EVERYONE is invited!



Meaningful Work:  Community Based Activism and Theology

by, S. Raven

On Sunday July 16th, Michael Littig with The Uprising and Mark Fisher Fitness hosted a salon featuring activist and public theologian Mark Colville in New York City.  Mark was joined by his wife Luz and his son Justin.  The subject of the salon was, “How to take meaningful action in our society.”  If anyone knows something about meaningful action it is Mark Colville, a man who has dedicated his entire life to the service of others.  Mark and Luz met in the Bronx as young adults doing community organizing at her former elementary school.  They married and together founded the Amistad Catholic Worker House in New Haven CT in 1994.

Both Mark and Luz described the challenges and blessings that come along with the work they have chosen- work that is not just professional but very personal as well.

Mark explained that his faith journey is what lead him to the work that he is doing.  He never intended to be a political player, however the actions for peace and justice that he has been involved in are often interpreted as being political.  He had to look at himself and ask, “Who am I?” “Where am I going?” “Who am I supporting?”  This deep level of introspection is not surprising for anyone who knows this self-proclaimed introvert.  Despite his introversion, Mark manages to speak out against injustice wherever he goes, and like Saint Francis he preaches the gospel all times (with his actions) and only uses words when necessary.  In recent years Mark has been a part of: the #BlackLivesMatter movement, support for the Standing Rock Sioux against the illegal oil pipeline, support for the name change of Calhoun College at Yale, on-going support for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, worker’s rights, undocumented immigrants, and of course anti-war/anti-drone demonstrations. Whew! If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is. On top of all of the peace and justice movements he is a part of/supports, Mark somehow finds time to cook meals at Amistad with the help of Luz and other community members.

Mark also hinted at very deep theological and philosophical positions, and unfortunately there was not nearly enough time for him to flesh those out in great detail. He described God’s preferential option for the poor with the image: “God sees the world through the eyes of the poor.” And here Mark was not only talking about the economically disadvantaged but also the poor in quality of life; the disinherited and oppressed.

During the Q&A when Mark was asked about where he sees the line between his own autonomy and surrendering to God’s divine plan, Mark struggled to answer. The struggle was there because for Mark this is a false dichotomy. He is fully an individual who operates out of his own free-will, and fully surrenders to God. There is no line of demarcation between the two. As he explained, “I meet God in my conscience.” There, in his conscience is where the impetus and mandate to act on the behalf of others comes from. But he went further to describe a community conscience whereby he discusses actions with Luz and other community members before he takes them. He therefore does not see himself as a single actor moving forward by his own steam, but a part of a broader community that supports and reinforces the work that he participates in through the grace of God.

One thing that struck me by his talk was the overwhelming humility that came through in everything Mark said. He is so modest and unassuming that I imagine he is really going to dislike the fact that I have written an entire article about the talk he gave. But it is important that this modern philosopher/theologian/activist/hash-slinger’s words and actions be passed on to the next generation and anyone that is yearning for deeper meaning in their lives, anyone who is searching for a way to live authentically and to the betterment of their community.

To find out more about the great work of the Amistad Catholic Worker House, or to get involved, contact them at:

The Amistad Catholic Worker

203 Rosette Street, New Haven, CT, 06519; (203)415-589619225250_10213356252522979_4799981223842511112_n

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Thursday: A Festival of Hope

The Amistad Catholic Worker invites you to join us in celebration of our confrontation with the principalities and powers in resistance to endless war and illegal drone strikes.

This Thursday, November 20th, we will gather in hope, in celebration and in resistance, at St. Anthony Church, 25 Gold St. (off of Washington Avenue), New Haven, 6:30pm.  There will be plenty of food and fun.  Mark Colville of the Amistad community will speak about drones and their victims, his nonviolent act of resistance and trial, and how the courts are colluding with the Pentagon to keep this murderous program beyond the reach of law.  We will also discuss the challenges ahead for the Amistad community, and how we can face those challenges together.
There will also be a performance: Orkestar BAM ( play a half-hour set around 8:00. Expect yummy Puerto Rican food!
On September 18, 2014, Mark was convicted on five criminal charges for walking peacefully to the front gate of the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Airfield in Syracuse, NY, along with YDS students Creighton Chandler and Greg Williams, to deliver a People’s Order Of Protection For The Children OfAfghanistan.  Mark and his family/community are preparing for his sentencing on December 3rd, in a court that has gone to extreme lengths to justify the U.S. government’s extrajudicial killing and crimes against humanity perpetrated through weaponized drone strikes.  Before the trial, Judge Robert Jokl threatened to give Mark the maximum penalty allowable, which could amount to more than two years in prison.
Note: As you who have supported us in the past know, this situation has placed a stress on the life of the Amistad Catholic Worker, and with Mark away it will continue to increase. We need people to think of ways to help us, both financially and by lending a hand to our work of hospitality. Please put some prayerful  consideration into this, and join us if you can! For more information, call Frances Goekler-Morneau:  (203)676-2066; (203)562-6165

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Mark speaks against the drones

Mark will be speaking on this topic all across upstate New York over the course of the next week.

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Monday: Hold Yale Accountable for Harboring State criminal Ernesto Zedillo

Missing students

While Massacres and Disappearances Happen in Guerrero, Mexico, Migrants and Students hold Yale University Accountable for Harboring State Criminal Ernesto Zedillo

(Mientras suceden desapariciones y masacres en Iguala, Guerrero, denunciamos a la Universidad de Yale por albergar al criminal de Estado Ernesto Zedillo … espanol vea abajo)


What: A Demonstration to denounce: 1) crimes of state committed by former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo during his presidency in 1997 in Acteal Chiapas, Mexico, 2) the immunity granted to Zedillo by the U.S. Department of State and Yale University, and 3) the current killings and disappearances of students in Guerrero, Mexico.

When: Monday October 20th at 5 pm


Organized by:  Mexican nationals living in Connecticut, Unidad Latina en Accion, Yale students, and the Amistad Catholic Worker.

Contacts: Enedelia Cruz Dominguez (Spanish) 203-600-3018; Joe Foran 860-878-8675

To the International Community:

The wounds have not healed; they still bleed.  They are of brothers and sisters massacred in Acteal, Chiapas.  This mass killing was perpetrated by the Mexican state under the command of Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon in 1997.  Forty-five indigenous people of the State of Chiapas were killed; among those victims 15 were children.  There have been numerous international lawsuits and demands for accountability for the state-sponsored terrorism perpetrated during Zedillo’s U.S.-backed presidency, and the U.S. government in turn has granted ex-President Zedillo immunity.[1][2]  Zedillo, an internationally denounced state criminal, is now the director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and acts as an adjunct professor.

Such acts of violence are the tools the Mexican state uses to criminalize social dissent and to build an apparatus of neoliberalism, militarization and genocide. Zedillo now lives right here in New Haven, but his legacy of violence is alive and well in Mexico. The current situation in Iguala, Guerrero demands our attention.  On September 26,  at Ayotzinapa, a regional school for teachers in rural Guerrero, Mexico, police opened fire on students; two students and a professional soccer player were killed.  During an emergency press conference, forty-three students were subsequently detained by police and placed in police trucks.  The students have disappeared.  In recent days ten mass graves have been discovered, but no students have been positively identified.  It appears that students have been handed over to drug cartels in collusion with local, state and federal authorities.

Parents and families from all over southern Mexico are demanding that their children be returned alive; meanwhile state aggression has continued, as state police have continued to fire live bullets on students.  The former mayor of Iguala has since fled as a fugitive of justice.

We must not be indifferent to the killing and disappearance of students.  These massacres and disappearances are related. More than 20,000 people are registered as having disappeared in Mexico in the past eight years. Most of them have never been found.[3]  We ask ourselves, in the name of the disappeared: why do these things happen to the poor?  Because we the poor have learned to fight for ourselves.  Because we know that no one else will fight for our liberation. Because we are tired of 520 years of mistreatment.  And because everyday we are more united, more organized.  That is why this keeps happening to us.  That is how we answer ourselves.

We are here because we cannot remain silent in the face of state-sponsored terrorism.  We denounce the daily killing of our people – in Acteal, in Iguala, in Guatemala, Honduras, in Colombia – all across the Global South.

We are here to hold Yale University accountable for harboring a war criminal in our community.

We are here to demand the safe return of our young teachers.  They took them alive and we want them back alive.

We remember.

The migrant community of Connecticut.

[1] Source:

[2] Source:

[3] Source:



Qué: Protesta para denunciar: 1) Crimen de Estado realizado por el ex-presidente mexicano Ernesto Zedillo en 1997 en Acteal, Chiapas, México; 2) la reciente imunidad política garantarizada por el Departamento del Estado estadounidense; y 3) las actuales matanzas y desapariciones de estudiantes en Guerrero, México.

Cuándo: Lunes 20 de octubre del 2014


Organizado por: Nacionales mexicanos viviendo en Connecticut, Unidad Latina en Accion, estudiantes de Yale, y la Casa trabajador católico “La Amistad”

Contactos:  Enedelia Cruz Dominguez 203-600-3018; Joseph Foran 860-878-8675

Las heridas no han cerrado, aún sangran, lo sentimos, compañeras y compañeros familiares de nuestros hermanos masacrados en Acteal, Chiapas. La matanza se llevó a cabo por el estado mexicano encabezado por Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León en 1997.  En la que perdieran la vida 45 personas de nuestros pueblos originarios en el estado de Chiapas. Entre las víctimas, 15 eran niños.

Ha habido múltiples demandas en contra del ex-presidente Zedillo y mientras tanto los responsables son exonerados, y en el peor de los casos convertidos en distinguidos catedráticos hospiciados en las Universidades de los Estados Unidos de Norte América. Convirtiéndose así en sus cómplices al permitir que los asesinos las ocupen como su refugio.  Ernesto Zedillo denunciado internacionalmente como criminal de Estado ahora es director del Centro de Estudios de la Globalización en la Universidad de Yale y donde da clases como profesor visitante.

Tales actos de violencia  son las herramientas que utiliza el Estado mexicano para criminalizar a los movimientos sociales y para construir un proyecto de neoliberalismo,  militarización y genocidio.  Zedillo vive aquí en New Haven, pero ha dejado el legado de violencia que en los últimos tiempos ha crecido de manera intempestiva. Los sucesos de Iguala Guerrero demandan nuestra atención.  El 26 de Septiembre  los policias agredieron a estudiantes de docencia de la Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa en la que perdieran la vida 2 estudiantes y 1 futbolista; poco después 43 estudiantes fueron detenidos por la policía llevandolos en patrullas.  Los 43 estudiantes han desaparecido.  En días recientes, se han encontrado 10 fosas con cadáveres, pero ningún estudiante ha sido identificado.  Al parecer los estudiantes fueron entregados a narcotraficantes en cooperación con las autoridades locales y estatales.

Los padres,  estudiantes, organizaciones de Derechos Humanos y civiles exigen la presentación con vida de los normalistas, mientras la agresión del Estado continúa y donde el Alcalde de Iguala permanece profugo de la justicia. En los recientes días otros estudiantes fueron agredidos por  las fuerzas policiacas de ese mismo Estado.

Siempre nos hemos preguntado ¿por qué nos pasa esto a los pobres?. Y nos respondemos a nombre de nuestros compañeros: Porque somos nosotros los pueblos pobres quienes tenemos que organizarnos y porque nadie va a luchar por nosotros para la liberación. Porque ya no queremos más de 520 años de maltrato y porque cada día nos organizamos mejor, por eso nos está pasando esto. Así nos contestamos.

Estamos aquí porque no podemos permanecer  en silencio  ante  el crimen de Estado. Denunciamos la matanza cotidiana de nuestra gente, de nuestros pueblos:  en Acteal, Iguala,  Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Paquistán, y todo el Sur Global.

Estamos aquí para que la Universidad de Yale no sea cómplice con los criminales de Guerra.

Estamos aquí para demandar el regreso con vida de nuestros jóvenes maestros.  Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos.

Viva la memoria.

Atte: Unidad Latina en Acción, organización comunitaria de migrantes radicados en New Haven, CT, EEUU.

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This week at Amistad


M-F/L-V – Breakfast/desayuno 7:30-8:30AM, Lunch/almuerzo 12:00-1:00PM

T/M ~1:00PM – Donation from Bishop’s Orchards: come help us sort and cook! Donación: ven para ayudar a ordenar y cocinar!

M/L 6:30PM ***New time*** evening prayer/oración de la tarde

Th/J 8:45AM @Amistad ***New time*** AmEN (Amistad Emancipation Network) meeting — this week we will be joined by several members of the Board of Alders for an update on the Board’s stance on policy change regarding decriminalizing homelessness in New Haven.  Reunión para discutir las preocupaciones de personas sin hogar.

Th/J – 9:30-11:00AM Give & Take/Dar y Recibir

Su/D – 2:00PM @Trinity Church, New Haven Green – Chapel on the Green, followed by lunch/Capilla en el Parque, seguido de un almuerzo


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