It was a learning experience for the priest as well. Or rather they always were members of the family. It was no longer suited for coffee; it had held the Blood of Christ. She never obliged anyone to follow her example, but God knows she gave an example. Dorothy Day was hailed as a modern day saint, (1) as one of the “10 Catholic women who changed the world,” (2) as “one of the most significant women in the life of the Church in the United States,” this last statement by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York , (3) , and as a “great reformer in American history” by President Barak Obama. We try to shelter the homeless and give them clothes, but there is strong faith at work; we pray. "Christ is in the stranger, in the person who has nowhere to go and no one to welcome him. BALTIMORE (RNS) The Catholic bishops gathered here for their annual meeting couldn’t agree on a statement on the economy on Tuesday morning (Nov. 13), but with a unanimous voice vote that afternoon they easily backed a measure to push sainthood for Dorothy Day, whose life and work were dedicated to championing the poor. Her father was a journalist and worked for a newspaper based in San Francisco. For John Loughery and Blythe Randolph, Dorothy Day’s wholehearted approach to life explains her religious conservatism — her desire to experience the entire Catholic package, warts and all. I picked Dorothy Day. Was Dorothy Day a Saint or a Subversive? Thereafter he used a chalice. They might disagree about the best way to fight Nazism, but as she often said, there is no party line in the Catholic Worker movement. In fact, however, religious faith had always inspired political and social action. We designed our website to be very user friendly. She pointed out that patriotism was a more powerful force in most people's lives than the Gospel. He lives in the Netherlands. I was struck by the sense that Dorothy Day is the patron saint of mid-life,” said Paul Elie, author of a joint biography of Day, Walter Percy, Flannery … These questions became more urgent after a suicide attempt in the early 1920s, following a traumatic abortion, and again, later, when she gave birth to a child out of wedlock. Dorothy Day was born on the8th of November, 1897, in Brooklyn, New York. She and Theophilus are mentioned in the Roman … Author and Publisher - Catholic Online. Then one morning she woke up, reached for a cigarette, and realized she didn't want it and never smoked another. "All the way to heaven is heaven," she so often said, quoting Saint Catherine of Siena — "because He said, I am the Way. These homeless people were served by young volunteers who shared their guests’ poverty — a modern version of the hospitality that Benedictine monasteries had provided in Europe before the Reformation. She was born to John Day and Grace Satter Lee. For John Loughery and Blythe Randolph, Dorothy Day’s wholehearted approach to life explains her religious conservatism — her desire to … Learn more about Dorothy Day’s life and legacy with this article. She also felt increasingly drawn to Catholic churches, where she was deeply moved by the cadences of medieval hymns as she stumblingly learned to pray the rosary. As she said, "We are here to celebrate Him through these works of mercy.". Our own love wasn't our love. From left, Cesar Chavez, Coretta Scott King and Dorothy Day at a service for farm workers at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, 1973. For subscription information visit their web site at http://www.canticlemagazine.com/ or call 1.800.789-9494. It was a simple structure with a few plain rooms and a cast iron stove. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven: Dorothy Day lived a humble life. I learned more about the Eucharist that day than I had from any book or sermon. In March 2000, 20 years after her death, the Vatican began a stringent examination of Dorothy Day’s life to prove that she had demonstrated the “heroic virtue” that qualifies a Catholic for sainthood; this process is ongoing. If God was one key word, hospitality was another. Dorothy Day – ‘a saint for our times’ November 30, 2018. If you’ve appreciated, Love is the Measure, a biography of Dorothy Day, Loving Our Enemies: Reflections on the Hardest Commandment, A Penny a Copy: Readings from the Catholic Worker. She helped us understand a merciful life has many levels: There is hunger not only for food, but also for faith; not only for a place at the table, but also for a real welcome; not only for assistance, but also for listening; not only for kind words, but also for truthful words. To a college student who asked a sarcastic question about her recipe for soup, she responded, "You cut the vegetables until your fingers bleed." Dorothy was and remains a controversial lady. We pray for them after they are dead. Now many want the Vatican to make her a saint. It was simply murder wrapped in flags. She will be the patron saint, not only of homeless people and those who try to care for them, but also of people who lose their temper. Dorothy Day was a woman who, much like Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was sometimes called a saint in her work. To someone who told her she was too hot-headed, she replied, "I hold more temper in one minute than you will hold in your entire life." The mere fact of her having died 17 years ago doesn't seem to get in the way. The staff was made up of people with very different backgrounds, interests, temperaments, and convictions. He was a sports article writer for the paper and majored in writing on horse racing. Evidence for her actual historical existence or acta is very sparse. In her wholehearted embrace of the Catholic faith, was Day also attempting an “othering,” tacitly and subversively suggesting that there were different ways of being a loyal citizen and devout Christian — that the radicalism of a St. Francis, indeed, of Jesus himself, spoke imperatively to the American dilemma? If Dorothy Day is ever canonized, she will be the patron saint not only of homeless people and those who try to care for them, but also of people who lose their temper. Once they are taken in, they become members of the family. The path to heaven, it seems, is marked by open doors and the smell of onions. Dorothy was sometimes criticized for being too devout a Catholic. "They live with us, they die with us, and we give them a Christian burial. I don’t want to be dismissed that easily." Dorothy Day's main achievement is that she taught us the Little Way of love, which it so happens involves cutting up a great many onions. She had no kind words for war or anything having to do with it war. When the Cold War was at its height, she vociferously asserted that the Soviets differed from the Gospels only in the methods they used to achieve equality. (AP) By . I have to write a report on saints. It is the living from day to day, she once said, taking no thought for the morrow, seeing Christ in all who come to us, and trying literally to follow the Gospel that resulted in this work. Pleased as she was when home Masses were allowed and the Liturgy translated into English, she didn't take kindly to smudging the border between the sacred and mundane. A way of life based on love, including love of enemies, left no room for killing. Dorothy’s religiously inspired politics flagrantly challenged the Enlightenment ideals of the American Constitution. Often she was away traveling —visiting other Catholic Worker communities; speaking at colleges, seminaries, local parishes; getting around by bus or a used car on its last spark plugs. Jim Forest is secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and editor of its quarterly journal, In Communion. Those who cannot see the face of Christ in the poor are atheists indeed," she often said. Yet it seems likely that she will one day be an officially recognized saint of the Catholic Church. St. Dorothy is a legendary saint who was pre-congregational - declared a saint before the canonization process was instituted in the 12th century. Dorothy was never too polite to speak about God. Whether traveling or home, it was a rare day when Dorothy didn't go to Mass, while on Saturday evenings she went to confession. By Sandra Yocum, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, University of Dayton and first published on theconversation.com. Several months ago, in writing about Day’s “ dynamic orthodoxy ,” I put forward the reasons I thought she merited sainthood, despite the controversial aspects of her life. If she was one of the freest persons alive, she was also one of the most disciplined. I was 20 years old the first time I saw her. No term, in her mind, better described the ideal Christian way of doing things. See more ideas about dorothy day, catholic worker, dorothy. One of the miracles of Dorothy's life is that she remained part of a conflict-torn community for nearly half a century. In this case, when Dorothy returned from a cross-country speaking trip, she told the two people running the kitchen that the butter and eggs should go to the family, which led to their resigning from kitchen work and soon after leaving the community trailing black smoke, convinced that Dorothy Day wasn't living up to the writings of Dorothy Day. Less than two years later, Day and Maurin founded the Catholic Worker movement, establishing a group of residences across the country to provide food and shelter to the homeless. You couldn't practice the works of mercy with one hand and the works of vengeance with the other. She went on to lead a thoroughly bohemian life in Greenwich Village and embarked on a career in left-wing journalism. She later insisted that the Catholic President John F. Kennedy was as much to blame for the Cuban missile crisis as Nikita Khrushchev. The family moved to San Francisco and then Chicago, where they lived in poorer housing after Dorothy’s father lost his job. Dorothy Day was certainly not without her rough edges. If we experienced love for another person, whether wife or child or friend or enemy, it was God's love. Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, circa 1960. Nothing we achieved was ever our doing, it was only God's mercy passing through us. Pope Francis cited Day — alongside Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Merton. Share on Facebook. ", It was chiefly through the writings of Saint Therese of Lisieux that Dorothy had been drawn to the Little Way. She said America had a tendency to treat people like Kleenex; use them, and throw them away. What is life without transcendence? Day was a tireless advocate for the poor and homeless, but what exactly is a saint and was she one? When a priest close to the community used a coffee cup for a chalice at a Mass celebrated in the soup kitchen on First Street, she afterward took the cup, kissed it, and buried it in the back yard. She was attentive to fast days and fast seasons. Dorothy Day died 38 years ago. Many voices are in support of the canonization process, citing Dorothy Day's life as an example that has inspired them to … They are our brothers and sisters in Christ.". “Dorothy Day: A Saint For Our Time” Program, Saturday, Oct. 3, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center of Litchfield, 229 E. Litchfield Road in Litchfield. Revered for her heroic virtue, radical hospitality and contributions to the Catholic Worker movement, Dorothy Day is the epitome of Christian love. This was most notable in her religious life. But while reading their respectful account, I began to wonder if Day’s religious conservatism might also, perhaps unconsciously, have been politically subversive. Feastday: February 6. Catholic Online; Saints & Angels; Facts. The British philosopher John Locke, for example, had declared that mixing politics and religion was a grievous, dangerous and existential error, and Thomas Jefferson too had famously called for a “wall of separation” between personal faith and public policy. There was hardly anything she did which didn't attract criticism. To a journalist who told her it was the first time he had interviewed a saint, she replied, "Don't call me a saint. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth: Dorothy Day did not preach at people, ... She did not want to be called a saint because she thought of herself as a sinner always in need of more help from God. Canticle: The Voice of Todays Catholic Woman is published quarterly by Urbi et Orbi Communications. But you have to go back and look at how God began implanting seeds in her life so long ago. Years later it was mainly in the beach house that she found the peace and quiet to write her autobiography, The Long Loneliness. Hugo insisted that Christianity involved a commitment to love, sacrifice and pacifism that secular society could no longer fathom. Increasingly, Day asked herself: Why are we here? They also include perceptive portraits of her colleagues, lovers and friends, who in these early days included Mike Gold, a prominent American communist, and the playwright Eugene O’Neill. Her basic message was stunningly simple: We are called by God to love one another as He loves us. Not only did Jesus and the prophets of Israel vehemently denounce those who prayed devoutly while neglecting the poor and oppressed, but Muhammad, Confucius, Mencius, Mahavira, the Buddha and Gandhi all insisted that personal piety was fruitless unless one worked tirelessly to relieve human suffering. Walking on the beach or to the post office, rosary in hand, she prayed her way through an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, prayed her way through the Baltimore Catechism; prayed her way to her daughter Tamar's baptism in a nearby Catholic parish; prayed her way through the collapse of a common-law marriage and to her own baptism; prayed her way through the incomprehension of her atheist friends who regarded all religion as snake oil. Following its review by a theological commission, a recommendation would be made to the pope that, pending a documented miracle linked to her, Dorothy Day would be declared “Venerable” and later “Blessed.” A second miracle would then open the way for her formal recognition as a saint. She spoke against the draft in Congress shortly after the beginning of World War II, and in her lectures and articles, she condemned the use of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. She was the third of five children and had three brothers and a sister. Saint Dorothy is a 4th-century virgin martyr who was executed at Caesarea Mazaca. das Erzbistum New York, das Seligsprechungsverfahren zu eröffnen. She embraced doctrines and practices that Protestants had deplored since the Reformation: transubstantiation, the cult of Mary and the saints, the rosary, relics, confession and indulgences. The following spring they founded The Catholic Worker — an implicit goad to the Communist Party’s Daily Worker — which argued that the cardinal sins of the United States were poverty, discrimination and exploitation, since the much vaunted American dream was clearly not available to everybody. It was in that connection she told me a story about prayer. Determined that her daughter, Tamar, would not flounder as she had, Day had her baptized a Catholic, and followed her into the church in December 1927. When you go back and look at her childhood, you see those little influences — … Even though her middle-class Republican family had no interest in faith and her father shared a widely held disdain for Catholicism, Dorothy was attracted to religion from an early age. ", the answer is not yet. Reprinted with permission of Canticle Magazine. The origin of Feast Days: most saints have specially designated feast days and are associated with a specific day of the year and these are referred to as the saint's feast day. Passionately denouncing the inequity of his time, Francis of Assisi abjured his wealth and joined the beggars. DOROTHY DAYDissenting Voice of the American CenturyBy John Loughery and Blythe Randolph. She should not be confused with another 4th-century saint, Dorothea of Alexandria. For many years, she said, she had been a heavy smoker. The most bitter dispute I experienced had to do with how best to use the small amounts of eggs, butter, and other treats that sometimes were given to us for the line (people we often didn't know by name who lined up for meals) or the family, as had been the custom. Even hospitality scandalizes some people. Michelle Boorstein. As she once put it, "Paper work, cleaning the house, dealing with the innumerable visitors who come all through the day, answering the phone, keeping patience and acting intelligently — which is to find some meaning in all that happens — these things, too, are the works of peace and often seem like a very little way.". John Loughery and Blythe Randolph, who are seasoned biographers, claim that they will never again have such a “challenging and complex” subject as Day, implying that this in part justifies their biography, “Dorothy Day: Dissenting Voice of the American Century” — the first full-length portrait, according to the book jacket, to appear in 40 years. The Dorothy Day Canonization Support Network exists to help make this happen. One day, looking into the Bible and Missal she had left behind when summoned for a phone call, I found long lists of people, living and dead, whom she prayed for daily. What got her in the most hot water was her sharp social criticism. A day never passed without Dorothy speaking of the works of mercy: Feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, giving shelter to the homeless, caring for sick, visiting prisoners, burying the dead, admonishing the sinner, instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, comforting the sorrowful, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving all injuries, praying for the living and the dead. She was ancient, that is to say 62 years old, seven years older than I am today. If Dorothy Day is ever canonized, the record of who she was, what she was like, and what she did is too complete and accessible for her to be hidden in wedding cake icing. As with any saint or great-souled figure, Dorothy Day has much to teach us. She took pride in the young men of the Catholic Worker who went to prison rather than be drafted — a good way to visit the prisoner, she pointed out. Part II in a series examining the sainthood cause of Dorothy Day, an American activist and founder of the Catholic Worker movement. "Dorothy Day Saint and Troublemaker." Feast Day of Saint Dorothy The Feast Day of Saint Dorothy is February 6th. I met her at the Catholic Worker Farm on Staten Island in the days when the island still had rural areas, its only link to the rest of New York City being the ferry. • In 1992, Day received the Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey. Dorothy Day's main achievement is that she taught us the Little Way of love, which it so happens, involves cutting up a great many onions. Dorothy Day (* 8.November 1897 in Brooklyn, New York; † 29. At her death in 1980, historian David O'Brien called Dorothy Day "the most influential, interesting, and significant figure” in the history of American Catholicism. When I think of her, the first image that comes to mind is Dorothy on her knees praying before the Blessed Sacrament, either in the chapel at the farm, or in one of several urban parish churches near the Catholic Worker. People sometimes tell me how lucky I am to have been part of the same community that Dorothy Day belonged to. In reality, Catholic Worker community life in Manhattan in the early sixties, had much in common with purgatory. We were blamed for making people worse, not better, because we were doing nothing to reform them. A social worker asked Dorothy one day how long the down-and-out were permitted to stay. This means for 35 years she has been scolding and encouraging me on a daily basis. While she hated every kind tyranny and never ceased to be thankful for America having taken in so many people fleeing poverty and repression, she was fierce in her criticism of capitalism and consumerism. How could she be so radical about social matters and so conservative about her Church? I am among them. When she was 12, her parents allowed her to be baptized in the Episcopal Church, which she attended for a year before giving it up to focus on politics. Still more remarkable, she remained a person of hope and gratitude to the end. For Loughery and Randolph, this stance exemplifies Day’s wholehearted approach to life; Day, they suggest, quoting a line from “The Mill on the Floss,” a novel she admired, was “never satisfied with a little of anything” and wanted to experience the entire Catholic package, warts and all. Mar 10, 2013 - " The Greatest challenge of the day is how to bring about a revolution of the heart.". 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