Tag Archives: Benedictine Oblate

Dorothy Day’s cause for canonization gets US bishops approval

Day Time mag.jpgThe canonization process of the Servant of God Dorothy Day (1897-1980) the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) by an unanimous voice vote on November 13, 2012 at the annual meeting of the bishops.

Sanctorum Mater (2007), requires of the diocesan bishop promoting a sainthood cause to consult at least with the regional bishops’ conference on the work of the cause.

Regarding Dorothy Day, she is a very well-known figure who is often connected with her stances on the economics and politics; the Catholic Worker movement that she co-founded is seen as a socialist and not too Catholic today. Day was based in New York City and her cause of canonization is being promoted by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York and current president of the USCCB.

We know that in 1933 Dorothy Day co-founded the Catholic Worker movement with Peter Maurin, as a Catholic, personal response to those who lived on the margins. Sadly, Day is most remembered for the incidental things of work with the poor and a direct critique of the systems that kept them poor and peace. But do we know and appreciate, even follow Day as a 1927 convert to Jesus Christ and her intense love for the Church? As the late Father Richard John Neuhaus once said Day was “deeply grounded in fidelity to Catholic faith.”

Of the places Dorothy Day prayed, Saint Michael’s Russian Catholic Center was one of them. She apparently loved to pray the Divine Liturgy.

Yesterday Cardinal Dolan called Day “Augustinian,” in that “that “she was the first to admit it: sexual immorality, there was a religious search, there was a pregnancy out of wedlock, and an abortion. Like Saul on the way to Damascus, she was radically changed” and has become “a saint for our time.”  In fact, Dorothy Day was a Benedictine for these same reasons. Not that being an Augustinian is a bad thing, but her heart was rooted in the charism of Saint Benedict even before her 1955 Oblation as a lay Benedictine.

History tells us that “Dorothy Day met [Saint Procopius] monks at parish in NYC in the fifties. She became an oblate in 1955 primarily due to Father Rembert Sorg’s writings on the theology of manual labor. Father Brendan McGrath, scripture scholar of the community, received her oblation. She befriended Benedictine Father Chrysostom Tarasevich whom she met at the NYC Byzantine Catholic Russian Center.

Dorothy Day’s cause for canonization by US bishops

Dorothy Day half-length portrait, seated at de...

The Servant of God Dorothy Day’s cause for canonization may move forward (or not) depending on how the vote goes. The bishops of USA are meeting this week in Baltimore for the annual business meeting.

Dorothy Day is a Benedictine Oblate of Saint Procopius Abbey. She holds the ecclesial title of Servant of God which denotes that the Nihil Obstat (which says that the Vatican is open to the cause moving ahead).
Cardinal Dolan recently said that Day was a woman of the Church –the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Roman Church; she loved her faith. She had a reasonable view of the Church’s ministry, even her sinfulness and yet she held firmly to the intimate connection between the Jesus Christ and the Church.
The anniversary of the Servant of God Dorothy Day’s anniversary of death is forthcoming on November 29 (1980).

Listen to what Cardinal Dolan said about Dorothy Day is here.

Saint Henry, king and Benedictine Oblate

St Henry Oblate.jpgThe feast of King Saint Henry (972-1024) always brings with it a keen remembrance of the commitment one makes as an Benedictine Oblate: seeking God unreservedly. The offering of oneself to God as a Benedictine oblate is a singular grace to take the gift of one’s humanity seriously as God has given it with the express desire to totally adore Him who makes us.

As this German king and Holy Roman Emperor he knew that holiness was possible in everyday life. You might say he was a monk without the monastic enclosure to God’s work in the every day.
A prior post on Saint Henry on Communio is here.
Benedictine Father Mark Kirby speaks well of good King Saint Henry here.
Let’s join with Saint Frances of Rome and Saint Henry in prayer for the grace of seeking God in all that we do, and in every place and time.

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Benedictine Oblation

Presentation of the Blessed Virign Mary3.jpgAs we Venerate the glorious memory of the most holy Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession, that we, too, may merit to receive from the fullness of your grace.

In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
On this Feast of the Presentation in the Temple of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I, too, offer myself to God through this renewal of my oblation. I commit myself anew to Stability of Heart, Fidelity to the Spirit of the Monastic Life, and Obedience to the Will of God as a Benedictine Oblate of the venerable monastery of Saint Meinrad.

Fraternal love and correction essential, Pope reminds

Christ washing the feet Tintoretto.jpgOne of the themes from Oblate retreat this past weekend was humility. And from within the Gospel and Saint Benedict’s vision of humility Brother John Mark spoke about love and fraternal relations, particularly rubbing elbows in true charity with your brother and sister in community. A stone is only polished when it meets other stones.

Pope Benedict brings up the human desire to be in community with other other people: how good it is for brothers and sisters to live in unity, St Paul says. But this unity and love have one condition: “You will love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13:8-10). Some take this point as an easy thing to do. I assure you, it is not. This past Sunday’s Scripture readings teach this point.
In his Rule, Saint Benedict places a strong emphasis on mutual responsibility (“a reciporcal responsibility” the Pope calls it) and charity toward the other person is lived only in a personal way. Benedict XVI argues as Saint Benedict did before him, “that there is a co-responsibility in the journey of the Christian life: everyone, conscious of his own limits and defects, is called to welcome fraternal correction and to help others with this particular service [of forgiveness and healing injuries].

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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