What is the Catholic Labor Network?
The Catholic Labor Network is a place for Catholics — lay, religious and clergy — who find inspiration in Catholic Social Teaching on labor and work, and wish to share it with the world. We come together to exchange information about the Church and social justice and to support working people in their struggles. We promote the cause of workers and Catholic social teaching in our labor unions, parishes and other organizations.
The Catholic Labor Network is a 501c3 organization incorporated in the District of Columbia.
CATHOLIC LABOR NETWORK
209 Maguire Hall • Georgetown University
37th and O Streets NW
Washington, DC 20057
Adrienne Alexander – President
Adrienne Alexander serves as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for AFSCME in Illinois. Adrienne lives in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, with her husband and daughters. They attend St. Benedict the African in the Englewood neighborhood. Adrienne is a graduate of Agnes Scott College, a small, women’s college in Georgia, and earned her Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota.
Hannah Petersen — Vice President
Hannah Petersen serves as an organizer with Unite HERE Local 11. Growing up in Los Angeles, CA participating in picket lines with her family was as much of a frequent activity as going to mass or getting ice cream. After learning that the dignity of work is as core a tradition as any other life issue in high school, she has been on a quest to understand and fight for how our work and workers cannot only be viewed as sacred and just but treated as so. Motivated by her coworkers at a hotel in Santa Monica and her neighbors in Peru as a Jesuit Volunteer, she continues to put her faith into action by inviting community and workers to the same table of transformative justice. Right now she is an active parishioner at Dolores Mission Church and resides at the Los Angeles Catholic Worker.
Joseph McCartin – Treasurer
Joseph A McCartin is a Professor of History at Georgetown University and the Executive Director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. Joe grew up in the Catholic working-class milieu of Troy, NY. His Catholic education led him to the Jesuit-run College of Holy Cross where he studied history under David J. O’Brien. His college studies led him to an interest in Catholic social teaching, the Catholic Worker movement, and the economic injustices in our society. After spending a short time doing community and labor organizing, he went to graduate school to study labor history. After teaching at the University of Rhode Island and the State University of New York at Geneseo, he returned to his roots in Jesuit higher education at Georgetown. In 2009, Joe formed the Kalmanovitz Initiative, the purpose of which is to direct student and faculty energy towards engaging with the problems workers face today and understanding the long history of those problems.
Catherine Orr – Recording Secretary
Catherine Orr began actively working in ministry in 2011 and has been serving as the Program Coordinator for the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors since September 2016. Catherine previously sat on the Roundtable board from 2012-2016 when she was working as the diocesan director for the Department of Living Justice in the Diocese of Green Bay. Her family relocated to Youngstown, Ohio in August 2016, and while living there, she worked in the Social Action Office for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Cleveland. Two years later, her family returned to southeastern Wisconsin, and she began ministering as the Pastoral Associate at Lumen Christi Parish in Mequon, a position she continues to hold today.
Chuck Hendricks — Financial Secretary
Chuck Hendricks is Director of National Contracts and Internal Support for UNITEHERE International Union. Chuck grew up in Baltimore and was 19 when his daughter was born. He struggled as a painter to make ends meet and decided to form a union. This gave him a passion for organizing and he became a full-time organizer with the Unite Here union. Chuck converted to Catholicism after attending mass at St. Ignatius in Chicago. He is a member of St. Vincent de Paul where he and his wife, Amber, are active in parish life.
Fr. Sinclair Oubre – Spiritual Moderator
Fr. Sinclair K. Oubre, J.C.L. is the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi in Orange, TX in the Diocese of Beaumont and a member of the Seafarers International Union. Fr. Sinclair knew from about the 4th grade that he wanted to be a priest and entered the seminary immediately after high school. As a seminarian, he would spend summers on merchant marine ships running Cameron, Louisiana to Gulf drilling rigs on workboats, and between Texas and Florida. After priestly ordination, he joined the Seafarers Union, with which he continues to maintain his membership. For more than 30 years, Fr. Sinclair has been active in labor movement. During the famed Staley lockout in Decatur IL., He organized a conference of other labor priests, deacons, and laity which led to the formation of the Catholic Labor Network in 1996. He continues to serve as Spiritual Moderator for the group. He is also Chaplain to the Sabine Area Central Labor Council, Diocesan Director of the Apostleship of the Sea in the Diocese of Beaumont, and member of the United States Merchant Marine.
Vincent Alvarez – Board Member
Vincent Alvarez is President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest regional labor federation, bringing together 300 local unions and 1.3 million workers from every trade, occupation, public and private sectors of the New York City economy. A member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) since 1990, Vinny began his career with IBEW Local 3 in Flushing, New York, serving on numerous political campaigns, grassroots initiatives, and negotiating committees. He is a Class C Director and Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and serves on numerous other advisory boards. He is an active member of St. Mary, Mother of God parish and Knights of Columbus Council 6552 in Middletown, NJ.
Fr. Clete Kiley — Board Member
Fr. Clete Kiley is the Director for Immigration Policy for the hotel and food service union UNITE HERE and serves as the Chaplain of the Chicago Federation of Labor, and as a Special Advisor to Cardinal Cupich in Chicago. Fr. Clete grew up in Chicago and attended a preparatory high school seminary and became an ordained priest in 1974. He has been active in labor and immigration issues for most of his career. He was on the national staff of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and was President of the Faith & Politics Institute. In 2010 he joined Unite Here to build community and faith coalitions around labor and immigration issues.
Donna Mitchell — Board Member
Dr. Donna McDaniel Mitchell has over 24 years of experience working with the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). She manages LIUNA’s Minority Advancement Department where she serves as a liaison to foster communication between LIUNA’s leadership, their three member-driven minority caucuses, internal departments, Tri-Funds, and various external constituency groups. She assists the department in identifying, promoting, and supporting issues of concern specific but not limited to their ethnic and gender diverse members. She has facilitated various workshops for LIUNA around such topics as Cultural Diversity, Building Cultural Competency in the Workplace, Coalition Building, and Community Activism. Donna also assists in various regional organizing capacities. She serves on the boards of the LIUNA African American Caucus (VP), and her local union. A member of St. Andrew’s the Apostle in New Orleans, LA, she has served on the parish council and actively serves as a eucharistic minister, lector and co-chair of the Cultural Unity Ministry.
Philip Tabbita – Board Member
Phil Tabbita is the Manager of Negotiation Support and Special Projects for the American Postal Workers Union (APWU). He has been a member of the APWU since 1970 and has been involved in every round of collective bargaining since 1981. Phil’s role at the APWU is to serve as executive assistant to the president, support collective bargaining, and act as a union advocate in arbitration among other jobs. Phil is active in the Knights of Columbus and is an usher at the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Clayton Sinyai — Executive Director
Clayton Sinyai is the Executive Director of the Catholic Labor Network, an association of Catholic union activists and clergy, religious and laity committed to Catholic Social Teaching on labor and work. A former rubberworker, railroad clerk, and letter carrier, he has spent the past two decades in a variety of union staff roles as a researcher, organizer, and communications director. Clayton is a member of (Construction) Laborers’ Union Local 11 (LIUNA) in Washington DC and is a charter member of Knights of Columbus Council 17056 in his home parish of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in Falls Church VA. He’s also the author of Schools of Democracy: A Political History of the American Labor Movement (Cornell, 2006).