Broken and Shared [978-0-9839616-2-8]

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Author : Jeff Dietrich

ISBN Code : 978-0-9839616-2-8
Language : English
Pages number : 450
Format : 6” x 9”, paperback, 62 Illustrations,

The essays that make up Broken and Shared were originally published bi-monthly over a forty year period in the newspaper the Los Angeles Catholic Worker, The Catholic Agitator. Collected together for the first time in this book, these essays constitute Jeff Dietrich’s witness to poverty on Los Angeles’ Skid Row.

The vast scope of Jeff Dietrich’s essays introduces the reader to a world like no other. These essays combine the stories of poor women and men with a record of the author’s civil disobedience, with a chronicle of the city’s attitude of depraved indifference when it comes to the treatment of its poor, with a day-to-day history of the rapidly changing landscape that is downtown Los Angeles.

The arguments and analyses in this book are predicated on singular and radical readings of the Biblical texts in counterpoint with a varied and rich array of philosophical, literary, and critical ideas. Through the lens of Jeff Dietrich’s perspective and rooted in his life of self-imposed poverty, this book is both a prescription for change and an inspiration for how we might find ways to live more meaningful lives because we know the importance of caring for those who have nothing to offer but themselves.

List of Illustrations 
Forward by Martin Sheen 
Preface “Where The Spirit Dares” by Daniel Berrigan, SJ 
Author’s Acknowledgements 
Introduction by Theresia de Vroom

Prologue: Forever Young: Forty years as a Catholic Worker 


  1. Faith as Story and Community 
  2. Introduction 
  3. Letters from County Jail 
  4. The Lepers on Crocker Street 
  5. Sundance and All the Indian Raiders 
  6. No Resurrection Without the Poor 
  7. Wrestling and Reconciling 
  8. Power of Suicide at the Heart of the World 
  9. The Devil’s Pact 

PART TWO: Food and Salvation 

  1. Exorcising Jesus 
  2. Can’t Get No Satisfaction: The Political Economy of Empire and the Beheading of John the Baptist 
  3. Bread for Ducks but No Bread for the Poor 
  4. Please Save Our Soup Kitchen 
  5. Demonic Transubstantiation 
  6. Planting the Seed
  7. Creative Cooking 
  8. Eating the Forbidden Fruit: The Problem of Industrial Agriculture 90 Exorcising the Demonic Food of Warmaking 
  9. Recovering Radical Memory 
  10. Christmas Appeal: The Poor Are Still with Us 

PART THREE: The Church

  1. Introduction 
  2. A Vision of the Church as Mother of the Poor 
  3. The Church Sex Scandal: Three-quarters of a Billion Dollar Settlement 
  4. The Great Cathedral Caper 
  5. The Silence of the Patriarchs from A to Z 
  6. The Power of the Cross: The Glory of the Mountain Top 
  7. Their Story Seemed like Nonsense: Women in the Gospel of Luke 
  8. Not by Bread Alone nor by Money and Ego 
  9. Dorothy Day and the Church 

PART FOUR: Making Peace 

  1. My Crisis with the Draft 
  2. The Roots of Terrorism 
  3. No Blood for Oil 
  4. Redeeming the Soul of America: Voices from Exile
  5. Getting Your Day in Court to be Among the Criminals 
  6. Reflections on September 11: We Are Still Pacifists 
  7. Military Success Justifies War in the New American Century 
  8. Catholic Workers are Still in Jail: We are Still Standing with the Victims 
  9. Jesus Wept 
  10. Middle East, War, Nukes, and Apocalypse 
  11. The Moral Captivity of Obama 
  12. Osama bin Laden: The Wicked Witch is Dead 

PART FIVE: Resistance to Empire

  1. Introduction 
  2. Divine Intervention 
  3. Casting Out Demons in Iraq 
  4. Defeating Empire with an Army of Dog Lappers 
  5. Torture: Exposing the Lie 
  6. Critiquing the Imperial Papacy 

PART SIX: Technology and Alienation 

  1. Not by the Power of Demons 
  2. Doctrine of the Common Good as Gift Relationship 
  3. A Theology of Non-Power 

PART SEVEN: The World We Have Lost 

  1. The Fall into Civilization 
  2. Anti-Christian Family Values 
  3. Burdening the Poor 
  4. Not One Stone upon Another
  5. Wilderness Economics 

PART EIGHT: Image Over Substance

  1. Notes on Consumerism 
  2. Reagan’s America 
  3. Jesus Christ, Silver Surfer or Suffering Servant 
  4. Signs and Simulations 
  5. Sacrificing the Innocent 
  6. Propaganda: The Death of Democracy 
  7. Rejecting the Temptation to Tall Towers 
  8. Blind to Our Sin of Usury 

PART NINE: Compassion as an Act of Seeing

  1. Introduction 
  2. May the Angels Guide You to Heaven 
  3. My Continuing Education 
  4. I Saw Satan Fall Like Lightning 
  5. The Homeless and Hopeless 
  6. Prophetic Hospitality 
  7. Appropriate Medicine 
  8. The Skid Row Death Row Connection 
  9. Compassionate Response to Suffering
  10. Every Simple Thing 

PART TEN: Abandoning the Poor

  1. Hurricane Katrina Reveals a Nation in Which the Poor Are Abandoned 
  2. Renaissance or Resurrection 
  3. The Story of Jacob and the Homeless with a Stone for a Pillow 
  4. The Shopping Cart Campaign 
  5. The Universe Bends Towards Justice 
  6. Declaring a Cease-Fire in the Drug War 
  7. The Soloist: Fiddling while Los Angeles Burns 

The Catholic Worker 

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