Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
August 10, 2008
God Really Can Walk Straight With Crooked Lines
This year is the 75th Anniversary of the Catholic Worker Movement. The movement was spearheaded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. The two met in 1932 and became life long friends, totally dedicated to the work of Social Justice in the church. The first Catholic Worker newspaper was printed in 1933 with 2,500 copies. Today’s circulation is approximately 80,000. The price has never gone up. It has always sold for 1 penny. This has no reflection on the quality of the articles however. It simply makes a statement for the needs of the working poor.
The first house of hospitality was opened in 1933 also. Today there are over 130 such houses throughout the country. The houses are run by Catholic volunteers who dedicate their lives to the very poor who have nowhere to live. Dorothy was also instrumental in founding Pax Christi USA. She was an activist for the Pacificist Movement and was jailed several times for her activism in this line.
Dorothy Day was born of Protestant parents but left organized religion altogether in her college years when she sincerely believed that religious people did not do enough for the poor. In 1927 she became a single parent and soon after embraced the Catholic faith because she saw that this church had a very strong Social Justice commitment. Once she became Catholic, Dorothy became fully committed to every aspect of her faith. She attended daily Mass and went on religious retreats. In 1955 she became a professed secular oblate of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Procopius.
Dorothy’s talent was in the field of Journalism. She was a prolific writer. She wrote 8 books, 350 plus articles for journals and magazines, and over 1,000 articles for the Catholic Worker newspaper. She loved writing and she used her talent to the upmost. Perhaps her most popular book was The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of Dorothy Day.
Dorothy Day was not born a saint. She lived for several years outside the moral compass of society. She was strong willed and determined to do things her way. Had she lived at the same time as St. Paul, there is no doubt she could have given him a run for his money. It took the birth of her daughter Tamar, which was equivalent to being thrown off her horse, to bring her back to church.
Dorothy is a wonderful model for modern day Americans. She was a lay women who had to balance work and child care all the while being committed to social justice. She also found the time to enjoy her nine grandchildren who were a joy in her life. She never found her faith to be a nuisance nor was she ashamed to be a Catholic. She recognized the good the Church did but was also aware of it s shortcomings. She was often critical of the Church’s wealth and support for war and war preparations.
Happy Anniversary to the Catholic Worker Movement!
Lorette P. Nault