Dorothy Day was a journalist, social activist, and a devout Catholic and preacher of the Catholic way of life. In her later years, she also became a preacher of the nonviolent way of living. She started a newspaper, the Catholic Worker to teach the Catholic way of life to people. She led a movement of noncooperation and civil disobedience to teach pacifism to the people. In this essay, I am going to discuss the life and work of Dorothy Day. Dorothy Day was an American journalist and social activist, who was also a staunch Catholic and a devotee of Catholic way of life.
She was born on November 8, 1897 in Brooklyn, New York. Day started her career as a reporter in a newspaper. In November 1917, Day went to prison for protesting for women’s suffrage. She had a common-law marriage in 1924 from which she had a daughter in 1997. Her marriage ended by this time. By this time, Day had a strong unshakeable belief in God and the Catholic Church. On December 28, 1927 she joined the Catholic Church. She tried to bring together her religious beliefs and her radical thinking.
In December 1932, she met Peter Maurin who was a devout Catholic with whom she had a common-law marriage. He envisioned a future in which society would be based on the social values of the Gospel. They decided to start a newspaper that would promote Catholic ideals and transform the society to adopt these ideals. They started the paper, the Catholic Worker, on May 1, 1933. The paper met with instant success. The paper’s circulation increased to 100,000 copies by December. In the paper, Maurin called for a renewal in the Christian practices of hospitality to strangers.
Day and Maurin began providing shelter to homeless people in several houses. By 1936, the Catholic Worker had assumed the proportions of a national movement. They set up several farming communes (Forest). Day was also a staunch advocate of pacifism. Throughout the Second World War, Day preached pacifism and nonviolence. She maintained her stand during the Civil War in Spain, World War II, and the Vietnam war. Her supporters refused to cooperate in the war against Vietnam or to be conscripted.
When the hydrogen bomb was being tested and there were civil defense drills, she refused to cooperate with the drills and was jailed several times. Day was honored for her achievements by the Church. She died in 1980. The Vatican has approved a process, which may canonize Dorothy Day as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church (Forest). References Forest, Jim. A Biography of Dorothy Day. Catholic Worker Home Page. Retrieved October 20, 2008 from http://www. catholicworker. com/ddaybio. htm