Dorothy Day Pilgrimage to New York
On the anniversary of her death, here is an overview of the important places where the social activist and convert to the Catholic Church lived, worked and prayed.
To follow in the footsteps of an American saint, just go to New York and visit the places where the late Dorothy Day (November 8, 1897 – November 29, 1980), lived, worked and prayed.
Although Day’s has yet to be canonized, in 2013 the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted in favor of her cause for holiness.
American journalist and social activist, Day, along with Peter Maurin, founded the Catholic Worker Movement and the Catholic Worker newspaper. In their work, they campaigned for the poor, fair treatment of workers, and were outspoken pacifists engaged in nonviolence, politics and war.
As a young woman living a bohemian lifestyle in New York City, amidst like-minded socialist advocates, Day was first drawn to the Catholic Church after meeting playwright Eugene O’Neill, who urged her to read the Confessions of Saint Augustine.
Day’s conversion to Catholicism came after she moved to Staten Island, where she bought a small cottage near the beach. It was during this time that she had a relationship that resulted in the birth of her daughter. When the child was born, Day had her baptized and followed her into the Church.
After his conversion, Day began his work with the Catholic worker movement and helped found “houses of hospitality” in New York City, and then several farms to house the poor. The movement quickly spread and today there are more than 100 communities around the world.
A somewhat controversial figure, due to her association with socialist activists and radical political positions, Day is revered by many, on the left and the right, for her good works based on her unwavering faith.
“Dorothy Day has constantly lived her life according to a ‘higher obedience’ which was not subject to political instrumentalization”, noted Dr Chad C. Pecknold, Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at the Catholic University of America.
In a speech to the United States Congress, Pope Francis included her in a list of four exemplary Americans who “build[t] a better future. “
Watch the slideshow below, for a tour of New York, in the footsteps of the Servant of God Dorothy Day: