Page 4, 9th October 1992

9th October 1992
Page 4
Page 4, 9th October 1992 — A hospitality house in Karl Marx's parish

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Locations: Cambridge, Munich, London, Oxford


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A hospitality house in Karl Marx's parish

IN CONNECTION with your report (Catholic Herald, September 25) on St Francis Howse now being established in Oxford on the model of Dorothy Day's Worker Houses in the USA, may I be allowed to point out that this is not as is stated the first outs kind in England.

St Joseph's House of Hospitality in Malden Road, in London, was opened shortly in 1939, in Tavestock Hill, near the Dominican Priory.

The first warden was Dr Charlotte Spitz, a Jewish refugee from Munich who was deeply interested in the work of Dorothy Day and who had found her way to Catholicism via Fr Vincent Nabb's Aquinas lectures. Dr Spitz entered Carmel at the end of the war and died at the Presteigne monastery.

The House of Hospitality did great work throughout the war years and afterwards. It was officially opened by Fr Vincent Nabb.

I still have, in his handwriting, a copy of the prayer he said on that occasion, and I remember him laughing and saying: "My one-time parishioner, Karl Marx, would have approved of this house!"

This is how he always referred to Marx, who during his stay in London had lived in a basement flat opposite the Dominican Priory.

Dr Elisabeth Stopp Girton College, Cambridge

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