Empire Cracking: An Interview with the NY Catholic Worker

cwThis interview was taken by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann as part of a writing project for Geez Magazine entitled “She is Breathing: Listening for Another World and an End to Empire.” It was published in the Winter Issue.

Lydia Wylie-Kellermann: What is the work that the NY Catholic Worker is doing that is so different from what our culture asks of us?

Joanne Kennedy: Off the top of my head, the paper is different – in the social media twitter-verse the relatively slow nature of our paper and it’s message of more love (and it’s existing for so long) is different. So old it looks new, anyone??

Amanda Daloisio: The work that we do daily- cleaning and cooking; caring for each other’s basic needs, is a gentle reminder of the Little Way. There is holiness to be found in the simplest of tasks and no work is beneath us if it can lessen the burdens of others. We uphold the dignity of manual labor but more than that- we know the joy that can be found there. So often those ideas bump into our upwardly mobile culture! Continue reading “Empire Cracking: An Interview with the NY Catholic Worker”

Reflections on the Hebrew Midwives

midwivesThird post in the series on radical biblical women. Written by Amanda Dalosio who lives in NYC with her family and is part of the New York Catholic Worker community.

Exodus 1:15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live. 18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and allowed the boys to live?” 19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” 20 So God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and became very strong.

The account of the two midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, is set in a scene of overwhelming cruelty and oppression. The King of Egypt has enslaved the people of Israel having set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor Ex1:11 who are ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them Ex 1:14. Yet out of this misery comes a moment of great courage. The women disregard the edict of death imposed by the empire and instead choose to remain faithful to life. And so is recounted the first biblical example of individual moral resistance to an empire.        Continue reading “Reflections on the Hebrew Midwives”