Dorothy Day (1897-1980) 


“We have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”  

Dorothy Day was born in New York in 1897. After studying, she wrote for a socialist newspaper and joined the Socialist Party. She continued working as a journalist in several cities across the United States. She was jailed for her beliefs. 

In 1927, Dorothy Day joined the Catholic Church and met Peter Maurin, who had started developing a program now called the Catholic Worker Movement, which aimed to unite workers and intellectuals, as well as founding The House of Hospitality in New York. In 1933, Day and Maurin started a monthly newspaper called the Catholic Worker. Within three years, the paper was reaching 150,000 people and inspired the movement to grow. She visited Australia in 1970 where her ideas took root, especially in inner Melbourne.  

Dorothy Day became known as one of the great Catholic lay leaders of the 20th century for her public positions on many social issues, especially rejection of war and violence. In World War II, the Catholic Worker promoted pacifism and supported Catholic conscientious objectors and later protested the Vietnam War. The paper was known for encouraging reform and personal practice of the principles of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Her manner was direct and unflinching. She said she never wanted to be regarded as a saint because she didn’t want to be dismissed so easily. Her memoir, The Long Loneliness (1952), is a stirring account of her discovery of God and determination to work for justice.


You can read more about Dorothy Day at Britannica