Center for Faith and Justice

Who was Dorothy Day?

Dorothy Day (1897-1980) was a devoted Catholic convert whose life testified to the radical love of a living God.  Not raised particularly religiously, she pursued a rather bohemian lifestyle as a writer in her early adulthood.  With the birth of her daughter, she became increasingly interested in faith, converting to Catholicism in 1927.  She never lost her heart for the margins of society. In 1933, with Peter Maurin, she published the first Catholic Worker, a newspaper dedicated to promoting Catholic social teaching and pacifism.  This ignited a movement of the same name that included the first hospitality house in a New York City slum soon thereafter.  Within a decade, this model caught on and now, there are more than a hundred such communities scattered all over the world.

Dorothy Day remained an advocate for social causes until very late in life.  At the age of 75, she was arrested with Cesar Chavez in support of the United Farm Workers’ Movement in California.

Not a saint or a sister, Dorothy Day stands as a reminder of the powerful impact that the humble pursuit of a life that fully reflects the love of God can have.  In her own words: "Love, and ever more love, is the only solution to every problem that comes up."