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Catholic Scholars To Gather At Dorothy Day Conference To Be Held At St. Thomas University

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Catholic Scholars To Gather At Dorothy Day Conference To Be Held At

St. Thomas University

MIAMI, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In November of this

past year, on the recommendation of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan,

the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops voted unanimously to

move forward with the canonization cause of Dorothy Day. "I am

convinced she is a saint for our time," Cardinal Dolan said at the

bishops' meeting. She exemplifies, he said, "what's best in Catholic

life." Day co-founded The Catholic Worker, a movement dedicated to the

realization of the Church's mission of social justice.

Born in 1890, after a long and complicated spiritual journey of over

30 years, she converted to Catholicism. Her conversion was devotional

yet after conversion, through her introduction to Peter Maurin -a

French Catholic philosopher- she discovered the social message of the

church and was able to combine her piety with her passion for social

justice in a movement she called The Catholic Worker. In 1933 she

published a newspaper of the same name as a direct counterpoint to the

popular Daily Worker published by the Communists and distributed

widely among the beleaguered workers and unemployed of the Depression

eras. Her paper proclaimed that the Catholic Church also had a social

plan, one far better than the Communists offered. She also opened a

house of hospitality where the unemployed and homeless could find a

warm meal and a place to lay their head.

Because of Maurin's influence, Day also started a Catholic Worker

Farm.. In the words of Maurin, "an agronomic university where scholars

and workers could come together to work out a more gentle way of life

in contrast to the harsh realities of industrial capitalism." She

published Maurin's ideas and Catholic Worker activities and worker

views in her paper, which had a circulation of over a quarter

million. As word of this new Catholic social movement spread, earnest

Catholics opened Catholic Worker farms and houses of hospitality

across the nation. Today, the paper she founded continues to be sold

for the original price (a penny) and there are 227 Catholic Worker

communities that remain committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty,

prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and

forsaken. Catholic Workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism,

and violence of all forms.

Friday and Saturday March 7-8, Catholic Workers and Catholic Worker

scholars will gather at St. Thomas University to discuss the legacy

and sanctity of Dorothy Day. The conference -funded by Trustee Wini

Amaturo with spouse Joe Amaturo and developed by St. Thomas history

professor and scholar on Catholic social doctrine Dr. Frank Sicius-

will include people who knew Dorothy personally, including Martha

Hennessy (her granddaughter), people who worked with her in New York

such as Tom Cornell (who lived at the Worker house in New York and

edited the Catholic Worker paper for many years), and Karl Meyer, who

lived in The Worker House in New York before starting a house in

Chicago. The conference will also host important Catholic Worker

scholars such as Robert Ellsberg, editor in chief of Orbis Press, who

recently published selected sections of Day's diaries. Eminent

Catholic historian David Obrien, who has described Dorothy Day as the

most important American Catholic of the twentieth century, will also

speak at the conference. St. Thomas University which was the final

academic home of William Miller, Day's biographer, also houses

Miller's papers, which he collected while writing both a biography of

Day and a history of The Catholic Worker. Many of these papers, which

include original letters of Dorothy Day as well as typed sections of

her diary, will be on display during the conference in the university

library. For more information and to download a registration form, go


For information on St. Thomas University programs, schools and

activities please contact Chief Marketing Officer Marivi Prado at

Media Contact: Marivi Prado, Chief Marketing Officer, ,


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SOURCE St. Thomas University

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