The Nine Pillars.

St. Bahkita Catholic Worker House
St. Bahkita Catholic Worker House

Nine Pillars of the Catholic Worker Movement

Nine Pillars of the Catholic Worker Movement

St. Bakhita Catholic Worker House finds its guiding light in the nine pillars of the Catholic Worker movement.

St. Bakhita Catholic Worker House finds its guiding light in the nine pillars of the Catholic Worker movement.

All Begins With Prayer and the Eucharist

At the heart of our community lies a deep commitment to prayer and the Eucharist. We celebrate Mass on Tuesday evenings at 5:15 in our beautiful chapel for spiritual nourishment. Additionally, there are opportunities for Eucharistic Adoration, monthly contemplative prayer experiences focused on ending racism followed by a soup lunch, and a weekly candle prayer service

Hospitality In Community

The Catholic Worker Movement embodies the call to hospitality, especially for those most vulnerable. Responding to the significant issue of human trafficking in Wisconsin, we commit to Matthew 25 and live beside women who are survivors of sexual exploitation.

St. Bahkita Catholic Worker House

Voluntary Poverty (Simple Living)

Living simply allows us to direct resources towards those in need. We are mindful of our spending, utilizing generous donations to create a dignified home for the women we serve. Following Dorothy Day’s words, “The World will be saved by beauty,” we believe surroundings that reflect beauty can foster a sense of one’s own dignity and worth.


The Catholic Worker tradition emphasizes the importance of skilled craftsmanship, just wages, and dignified working conditions, as through work, we can see Christ in all people. We are blessed to partner with the Franciscan Peacemakers’ “Peace and all Good” social enterprise, which provides employment opportunities for the women in our community.


Peter Maurin expressed that Workers are to become scholars, and scholars are to be workers. As education provides a level of respect and dignity for individuals, we offer resources, such as a small library and educational events, to support the educational aspirations of the women we serve.

Roundtable Discussions (Clarification of thought)

Respectful discourse is essential in navigating the complexities of our world. Inspired by Peter Maurin’s “Announcing, not Denouncing Philosophy,” we host roundtable discussions that encourage thoughtful exploration of important social, political, and theological topics. This allows us to see Christ in others and avoid vitriol.

The Retreat

For the laity, participation in retreats was a groundbreaking concept in the 1930s and 1940s. These gatherings are crucial for reflecting on the presence of Christ within ourselves and seeing the same in others. At St. Bakhita Catholic Worker House, we facilitate retreats for those needing our serene space and organize our own meaningful retreats.

“Agronomic Universities” (Farms and Gardens)

Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, believed that connecting with the earth is vital for human wholeness. In Spring 2023, we planted our first bountiful garden, fostering a deeper appreciation for God’s creation and the nourishment it provides. We currently are tending to six raised garden beds generously constructed as an Eagle Scout Project.

Social Action

As Dorothy Day envisioned, our social action is guided by the Gospel, particularly the Sermon on the Mount, realized in the Papal Encyclicals, and rooted in Catholic Social Teaching. Our daily interactions, where we embrace and stand in solidarity with the vulnerable, are a testament to our commitment to prioritize those on the margins. Advocating for issues related to human trafficking in Milwaukee, we are a Member House of the Alliance to End Human Trafficking (formerly the United States Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking).

St. Bahkita Catholic Worker House

Contact us if you’d like to know how you can help!

  • In-kind Donations

  • Community Members

  • Volunteers

  • Skilled Labor

  • Monetary & Gift Card Donations