Dorothy Day, 1897 - 1980

portrait of Dorothy Day


Born: 8 November 1897, Brooklyn, New York
Died: 29 November 1980, Maryhouse, New York City

Day grew up in a middle class family, sometimes worshiping in an Episcopal parish but not developing a strong faith. She went to the Illinois Industrial University (now the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) but was an indifferent student, mostly reading radical socialist materials, and returned to New York City after two years where she worked on the staff of several socialist publications. She had two extended relationships and one abortion. She began worshiping in Catholic parishes with friends intermittently, embracing Catholicism with growing passion after her daughter was born, She started The Catholic Worker in 1932, handing out free copies in Union Square and calling for changes in the treatment of the poor. She rented a home for ten women that winter; there were thirty-three Catholic Worker houses in the US four years later. Day's reading of the Gospel required not only this social outreach, but a fierce pacifism that often brought her into conflict. Unlike most of the antiwar protesters of the 1960s, she was opposed to the sexual revolution. She died a pauper, the diocese of New York paid for her funeral. In the Roman Catholic processor canonization, Day has reached the first step: Servant of God.

Biography from Wikipedia and "Dorothy Day Library" at Catholic Worker

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