Dorothy Day led a life of social service and political disobedience that spanned most of the 20th century. Called “a saint for the Occupy era” by The New Yorker and “a great American” by Pope Francis, Day combined her political activism with her conversion to Catholicism to co-found the Catholic Worker Movement with Peter Maurin in 1933.
The movement began with the publication of the Catholic Worker newspaper, with Day, a journalist, serving as editor until her death in 1980. The publication still sells for a penny a copy. Day also established “houses of hospitality” to feed and shelter the poor and homeless, which now number over 200 across the country. The Vatican began the formal process for her canonization in 2000.
Now her youngest granddaughter, Kate Hennessy, has written “Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother.”
Hennessy will launch the publication of her memoir and give a reading from it on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. in the Morrison Room of the Willits-Hallowell Center at Mount Holyoke College. The College’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Department of Religion are cosponsors, along with the Odyssey Bookshop, of this event.
In the book, Hennessy uses family correspondence, Day’s journals and her own memories to construct an intimate glimpse into the lives of both her grandmother and her mother. Kirkus Reviews called the book “fascinating, well-told, candid, and tender.”
Additional sponsors of this reading are: the American Friends Service Committee of Western Massachusetts; Daughters of the Heart of Mary; Elms College; Catholic Communications, Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield; Dorothy Day Guild; Great Barrington Catholic Workers; Our Lady of the Valley Church of Sheffield; Fr. Bruce N. Teague; Pax Berkshire; and the Sisters of St. Joseph Justice and Peace Committee.
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