Today, Timothy Cardinal Dolan , Archbishop of New York, announced that he was setting up the various commissions to study and advance the canonization process for the Servant of God Dorothy Day. This part of the canonical process, the Inquiry on the life of Day needs to argue for the Chuch that she lived a life of “heroic virtue.” Dorothy Day was the founder of the Catholic Worker movement.
Dorothy Day is a convert to Catholicism (1927), a mother, and a Benedictine Oblate.
With Peter Maurin, Dorothy Day founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933 in New York City. The Movement places a high emphasis on the virtue of “hospitality”, a supreme Catholic virtue and one that is spoken of directly in the Rule of St. Benedict. Dorothy Day died in New York at the age of 83 in 1980.
In 2000, Cardinal John O’Connor requested from the Holy See the nihil obstat, naming Dorothy Day “Servant of God” and thus opening the canonization process. Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo was named “postulator” or chief advocate for the Cause of Canonization. In 2012, Cardinal Dolan asked the body of US Bishops to formally endorse Day’s cause in November 2012; they approved.
The Cardinal will appoint a historical commission that will report on the relevance of Day’s life in historical context and review her unpublished writings. Likewise, there will be a group of theological experts appointed by Dolan to review her published writings to make sure her teachings are without error. The process includes two readers for each publication.
George B. Horton said, “Dorothy Day created or inspired dozens of houses of hospitality throughout the English-speaking world, but she was also a journalist who published The Catholic Worker newspaper. Her articles in that paper alone total over 3,000 pages. Add her books and other publications and we will probably surpass 8,000 pages of manuscripts.”
The New York Archdiocese is sponsoring Day’s cause. Dolan will see to it that the documentation will be properly given to Congregation for the Saints. It will be this Congregation that will examine the evidence making a recommendation to Pope Francis whether what is written of Day is authentic give the next determination, the title of “Venerable Servant of God,” which gives an eye toward beatification and canonization.
Visit the Dorothy Day Guild for more information.