Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dorothy Day

Joshua Snyder tells her story.
November 29th marks the anniversary of the passing of Dorothy Day, the foundress of the Catholic Worker Movement. Mark the date on your calendar, because this radical pacifist who had been a member of the I.W.W., met Leon Trotsky, had an abortion, and raised a daughter as a divorced single mother may be the next American canonized a saint in the Catholic Church.

(Via The Western Confucian)

"I will have mercy and not sacrifice. I come not to call the just but sinners." (Matthew 9: 13) Share

10 comments:

Lisa said...

I'm sorry. I can't find anything in the article which tells what Ms. Day did or didn't do that qualifies her for sainthood. I only found that she was a Catholic convert who helped the poor. That's commendable. But a saint?

elena maria vidal said...

"Only a Catholic convert who helped the poor." Lisa, all I can say is that you and I must have different ideas about what constitutes sanctity. Living in the ghetto for thirty years in abject poverty in order to help the indigent is no small feat in my opinion. Plus going to Mass everyday and maintaining an intense prayer life. But who am I to say? Ultimately, it is for the Church to decide. BTW, Joshua's article is not intended to be a complete biography, just an overview.

Simon said...

I should think that her journey offers hope to all who have mired their lives in poor choices, that the grace and mercy of God can sustain a complete transformation of one's life. The saints are not declared such by the Church as a reward (they've already achieved as much of that as they need, if you think about it!) but to enable those of us striving to follow Christ to see that their are a lot of spokes that have lead to the hub. I actually met Day back a million years ago, and she has been an inspiration to me all of my adult life.

elena maria vidal said...

I agree, Simon. From what I have read and heard about Dorothy, she gave an example not only of holy penitence but of obedience, especially to Church authorities. She also frequently manifested great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Once, after one of the Berrigan brothers had been offering Mass, Dorothy was found on in the sanctuary, ciborium in hand, carefully gathering particles of the Eucharist which had been dropped on the floor. She was not keen on progressive liturgies at all.

cordelia said...

i remember reading that her daughter married and had many children and was a devout Catholic too. many saints had shocking past lives. i'm sure contemporaries of St. Margret of Cortona didn't think she was worthy of sainthood.

Dymphna said...

I was just thinking of St. Margaret. St. Pelagia led a pretty revolting life before her conversion. Dorothy Day may be a saint but let's wait for the church to decide. Three verified miracles are required and so is an exhaustive investigation.

Iosue Andreas said...

Dear Lisa,

You say, "I can't find anything in the article which tells what Ms. Day did or didn't do that qualifies her for sainthood."

I realize that is a failing of my article, which I think our kind blog hostess and her guests have addressed.

I wrote the article originally for a leftist site, hoping to plant a few seeds for the Faith, God willing, so didn't really dwell on the points that orthodox Catholics would find attractive.

elena maria vidal said...

Good point, Cordelia. Yes, Dymphna, it is ultimately for the Church to decide; but I will always find a great deal of inspiration in Dorothy's life.

Joshua, it is an excellent article that hopefully will challenge many people. Thanks for the clarification.

Lisa said...

Dear Elena Maria Vidal: I'm sorry. My wording was to say that I only found....such, not that Ms. Day "only" helped the poor. Yes, I agree that living in a ghetto and helping the poor was no small feat.

I needed more information such as that she'd repented of her sins (ie., divorce, abortion, etc)., and then lived a life of chastity and obedience and penance.

That is commendable, and sounds like she is one of the modern day Magdalens.

elena maria vidal said...

Lisa, that's OK, don't be sorry.