Since 1997 people from different European houses and communities meet once a year to exchange views on the Catholic Worker. Often we are joined by Catholic Workers from the US.
In the beginning of these meetings we took turns in hosting the gathering in our countries and houses. Nowadays we alternately meet in the "Lake House" in Dulmen, Germany and the Cudham Environmental Centre in Kent, England.
We are having a European Catholic Worker Gathering again. In the real world!
The gathering will be around Ascension Day from Wednesday the 17th of May till Sunday the 21th 2023, at an ATD 4th World retreat center in Wijhe near Deventer in the Netherlands.
If you think about attending please let us know by sending an email to Herman.
We’re staying at the farm ‘’t Zwervel’, which is a vacation location of ATD Fourth World. The location is Raalterweg 19, 8131 SB in Wijhe. ATD is a very cool organization that some Catholic Workers are also part of. There are small rooms with beds (about 20 beds total), and a hall where people can sleep on the floor. And plenty of space for camping. There is a large indoor space for workshops/roundtables.
The closest train station is Wijhe station. From there it’s a 3 km walk, but we’re aiming to have people who come by car help shuttle people from the train station. Keep us updated on how you’re traveling (car/train) and if you would like/can offer a ride from the station. We’ll coordinate.
We’re making a proposal for a more detailed schedule, but for now we know:
Wednesday-morning some people arrive at ‘t Zwervel to prepare the space, do some last-minute shopping, cook dinner and shuttle people from the train station (feel free to join us!). Most people will arrive in the late afternoon. Dinner is around 18:00. After dinner we get to know each other a bit, and discuss the schedule and practical matters for the rest of the gathering.
On Sunday we will finish with a morning prayer, clean up after ourselves and leave around lunchtime.
During the gathering we will have workshops and roundtables (let us know if you have any plans), campfires, prayers and fun together. We are looking into visiting a nearby eco-village (aardehuizen Olst), and will probably have a workshop by ATD-fourth world.
Our proposal is that the communities from Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Hamburg and Dortmund each bring the food for one evening meal. And if people have things they can bring for breakfast/lunch/snacks, that’s very welcome (contact us for food planning/questions please). We will provide for the rest of the food needed. We aim for vegetarian, if possible organic/fairtrade/donated, with vegan options.
As is our tradition we also ask every community (or at least the ones traveling by car) to bring snacks for one Fika-break.
We estimate the costs will be around €20-€25 per person per day (kids are free). We will know more when we have done the shopping and know how many people will be there. Let us know if this is a lot for you, we would like everyone to be able to come! Let us also know if you could pay more if that would help other people!
We propose that childcare is arranged by the parents with each other. But if there are proposals of someone who would like to come and help out with childcare that is also very welcome. We could probably cover their expenses, and maybe offer a small compensation. There is a small playground and a little forest where children can play. Teenagers are also very welcome to take part in the main program.
We’re looking forward to see you soon in Wijhe!
Anna, Frits, Herman from Amsterdam