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Dorothy Day

(1897—1980)


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(1897–1980),

co-founder, with the visionary Frenchman Peter Maurin (1877–1949), of the lay-dominated Catholic Worker movement in the USA. A radical socialist, she was involved in various disastrous personal relationships, but after the birth of a daughter, became a RC in 1927. In 1933, at the instigation of Maurin, she founded a monthly newspaper, the Catholic Worker, which made many American RCs conscious of the social teaching of Leo XIII in ‘Rerum Novarum’; at its height it had a circulation of over 100,000. She and Maurin also set up ‘Houses of Hospitality’ which provided food and shelter for needy men and women in New York and other cities during the Depression. In the 1940s and later, her pacificism caused divisions, but Catholic Worker communities still embrace voluntary poverty and provide hospitality for the homeless, exiled, and forsaken. Day fostered Catholic Worker retreats which stressed the need for mortification.

Subjects: Christianity.


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