Tag Archives: Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day and the Benedictines

I found the following file on my computer this morning by accident –I wasn’t looking for it, but I was happy to find it. I’ve been harping on the Benedictine influence upon Dorothy Day and the importance the Rule of Benedict and the influence various monks had Day. For example, we have a good example of Dom Virgil Michel working with Dorothy Day at the Catholic Worker. Another is Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila Latourrette. Day’s sainthood cause is being studied at the moment and these things matter, in my opinion.

Virgil Michel, O.S.B., and the Benedictine Influence on the CW Movement:

Virgil Michel, Fellow Worker in Christ
by Dorothy Day

To us at the Catholic Worker, Father Virgil was a dear friend and adviser, bringing to us his tremendous strength and knowledge. He first came to visit us at our beginnings on East Fifteenth Street. He was like Peter Maurin in the friendly simple way he would come in and sit down, starting right in on the thought that was uppermost in his mind, telling us of the work he was engaged in at that particular moment and what he was planning for the future. He was at home with everyone, anywhere. He could sit down at a table in a tenement house kitchen, or under an apple tree at the farm, and talk of St. Thomas and today with whoever was at hand. He had such faith in people, faith in their intelligence and spiritual capacities, that he always gave the very best he had generously and openheartedly.

He was interested in everything we were trying to do, and made us feel, at all the Catholic Worker groups, that we were working with him. When he came in it was as though we had seen him just a few weeks before. He was at home at once, he remembered everybody, he listened to everybody.

Orate Frates, January, 1939

Dorothy Day’s cause for sainthood advances

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.Dorothy Day Nicholas Brian Tsai

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.

Dorothy Day and St Procopius Abbey meet again

Dorothy Day 2.jpgI don’t hide the fact that I believe Dorothy Day is a very reasonable and attractive candidate for the Church to canonize. Following John Paul’s insistence, we need more contemporary saints from among the laity. Several times in the past years I have posted articles on Dorothy Day (+1980) and I am happy to do so again today. My enthusiasm has less to do with Day’s social activism –even though at one time the Catholic Worker Houses were more Catholic and Benedictine-like– as it does with her accepting the truth of Jesus Christ as Messiah, her eventual conversion to Catholicism and her being a Benedictine Oblate.

Oblation as a lay woman she was first connected with the Benedictine monks of Portsmouth Abbey before she moved her Oblation to St Procopius Abbey (outside Chicago). However, there is a difference of opinion on where Day’s Oblation was first offered, Portsmouth or Procopius. The historians are doing some fact checking.
Personally, I have been anxious for the Benedictines and the officials of Day’s sainthood cause in the Archdiocese of New York to talk about the relevance of Day’s Benedictine connection and to propose it for the laity’s consideration to follow. Hopes have been fulfilled with St Procopius Abbey Abbot Austin Murphy’s posting of the Oblate Dorothy Day on their web site.
More on the Dorothy Day-St Procopius connection and the prayer for her canonization is noted here.

Benedict XVI: to whom do you belong? –asks for prayers for himself and future pope

When the Pope came into the Paul VI Hall he was greeted with lots of people which is typical, but there seemed to be more than c. 8000 people in attendance. The outpouring of affection was evident. Before the weekly teaching, he said, 

audience feb 13 2013.jpg

Dear brothers and sisters, as you know I decided. Thank you for your kindness. I decided to resign from the ministry that the Lord had entrusted me on April 19, 2005. I did this in full freedom for the good of the Church after having prayed at length and examined my conscience before God, well aware of the gravity of this act.

I was also well aware that I was no longer able to fulfill the Petrine Ministry with that strength that it demands. What sustains and illuminates me is the certainty that the Church belongs to Christ whose care and guidance will never be lacking. I thank you all for the love and prayer with which you have accompanied me.

I have felt, almost physically, your prayers in these days which are not easy for me, the strength which the love of the Church and your prayers brings to me. Continue to pray for me and for the future Pope, the Lord will guide us!

The catechesis the Pope offers us today…

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Dorothy Day: former atheist, social advocate & journalist, moves toward sainthood

Rome Reports, a work of a group of laity covering news items concerning the Catholic Church particularly in Rome (the bulk of their reporting) but the reporters also cover other stories of interest to the Christian world. 

As you know I am hoping with eagerness for positive news on the studies related to the cause for canonization of the Servant of God Dorothy Day. Rome Reports did a news piece today: “Dorothy Day: former atheist and social advocate journalist, on the way to sainthood.”

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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