Day, Dorothy


Day, Dorothy

biographical name

(born Nov. 8, 1897, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Nov. 29, 1980, New York City) U.S. journalist and social reformer. While a scholarship student at the University of Illinois (1914–16), she read widely among socialist authors and soon joined the Socialist Party. In 1916 she returned to New York to work for the radical journals The Call and The Masses. With the birth of her daughter (1927), she broke her ties with radicalism and converted to Roman Catholicism. After writing for the liberal Catholic journal Commonweal, in 1933 she and Peter Maurin (1877–1949) cofounded The Catholic Worker, which expressed her view of “personalism.” She sought to aid the poor by establishing urban “hospitality houses” as part of the Catholic Worker movement. After Maurin's death, she continued to publish the paper and manage the hospitality houses. Although her outspoken pacifist views were criticized by Catholic conservatives, she influenced Catholic liberals such as Thomas Merton and Daniel and Philip Berrigan.

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