Thursday, 8 November 2012

Dorothy Day (who used protest, "Don't call me a saint") was born 115 years ago today

Today is November 8th, and 115 years ago on this day, Dorothy Day was born in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, New York. Journalist turned social-activist, she also worked as a novelist (selling the film rights to her novel The Eleventh Virgin), and dabbled in screen-writing. In her youth she worked on a variety of Left-wing newspapers, never quite becoming a Communist. Her circle of colourful friends included Eugene O’Neill and leading anarchist Emma Goldman, who encouraged her to experiment with free love.
Day’s biggest sacrifice came in 1928. Immediately after she baptised her daughter Tamar, the baby’s father, Forster Batterham, left her. She refused to renounce the faith, which had given her solace during psychological problems caused by an abortion.
In 1932 Day met the charismatic Frenchman Peter Maurin. Together they founded the Catholic Workers’ Movement when the Great Depression raged. Day and Maurin set up urban houses of hospitality for the homeless and communal farms to grow food. Soup kitchens were founded where the hungry were addressed as “Sir”.
Day knew financial hardship, but put unpaid bills under the statue of St Joseph, and somehow she always pulled through.
Day divided her time between writing for their newspaper, the Catholic Worker, publishing books, protesting against injustices and ministering to the poor.
Since Day’s death in 1980 the movement has had no leader, but there are now over 200 communities.


 
The 1996 film of her life, Entertaining Angels, is an ambitious theatrical portrait of Dorothy Day, and gives a historical account of Day's determination to feed the hungry and clothe the naked during the Great Depression following the financial collapse of 1929. At the time, Day only had 97 cents to her name! Moira Kelly plays the lead, and truly embodies Day's irrepressible ideals of helping the poorest and loneliest, no matter how desperate the circumstances. But it has irritated Day followers that Kelly performs as though she is imitating Dorothy Day, using too much emotion for such a resilient figure as Day (and in a voice a few octaves too high). Also, Kelly has a very soft, oval face - while Day had a strong jaw an a defiantly angular chin, that pointed the way forward.  But then, let's not be too hard on Kelly. Who really could have acted the part of Dorothy Day?  No one. She was a one-off.


4 comments:

  1. my sister Mary, only a friend will tell you this. if you die inside of a false religion,salvation has escaped you. i know you are a good catholic. All the charities and help services provided in the name of a false religion are good for the ones in need of such services. But still, good works are filthy rags in the site of God.And false religions are still false. No matter what they do and say. Its not the men running the false religion, its the well meaning men in the pews who do the charities. i dont have to remind you of what the clergy do in their spare time. Im posting as annonymous cause im having trouble with my connection and i cant get into google sign up. Im Wayne or as most know me as Bosco.i would like to see you become christian. Ask jesus to do that for you. Thanks and hope to talk soon.

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  2. Bosco, my dere bruvver, why doesnt you go and talk to some Cathlic preists, and let them explane where you're a little confussed?

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  3. That's interesting Bosco, I thought "Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only." James 2:24 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James+2%3A24&version=KJV

    Faith Justifies Initially, but Works Perfect and Complete Justification.
    In James 2:24 the phrase "faith alone" (the Greek "pisteos monon") only occurs once in the Bible. "Man is justified by works and NOT faith alone."

    Despite your assertion to the contrary, no where in Scripture does it say that man is justified or saved by "faith alone." To the contrary, man is not justified by faith alone. In Catholic theology, a person is justified by faith and works acting together, which comes solely from God’s divine grace. Faith alone never obtains the grace of justification (Council of Trent, chapter 8, canon 9). Also, the word “justified” (dikaiow) is the same word Paul uses for justification in Rom. 4:3 in regard to Abraham (so Protestants cannot argue James is not referring to “justification” in James 2:24 unless they argue Paul wasn’t in Rom. 4:3 either).

    I should imagine Mary is, as St. Paul teaches, working out her own salvation with fear and trembling Phil 2:12 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=philipians%202:12&version=KJV

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  4. You see, Bosco, my mate, I got friends in high places, such as Mark and Eccles. Together we got even higher-up friends such as St Anthony.

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