Roundtable: The Life of Dorothy Day

Thursday, September 23
Dinner 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Roundtable 7:00 p.m.

Dorothy Day House of Hospitality
620 Belmont Ave

All are Welcome ~ This month we are viewing a movie about the life of  Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement.

As we of Dorothy Day Youngstown go about doing our works of mercy we are called to compliment our hospitality with the tireless peacemaking and resistance that was the heart and fire of Dorothy Day. Dorothy was a radical pacifist who stuck to her convictions through a parade of wars that often made her unpopular even among fellow Catholic Workers. She insisted that war does not win peace, that only peace begets peace.

In June of 1940 Dorothy wrote: “Instead of gearing ourselves in this country for a gigantic production of death-dealing bombers and men trained to kill, we should be producing food, medical supplies, ambulances, doctors and nurses for the works of mercy, to heal and rebuild a shattered world. (“Our Stand, CW, June 1940, 1, 4.) Dorothy epitomized the Biblical maxim: “Beat your swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.” ( )

Dorothy was also painfully aware that war and the preparations for war have a direct bearing on the brutal poverty which plagues so much of humanity. Dorothy would not be surprised at all that in the wealthiest country on earth that spends hundreds of billions of dollars annually on war and preparations for war, we now have almost fifty million people living in poverty. Dorothy was well versed in a Catholic Social Teaching that consistently has exposed the folly of war and its devastating effects on and creation of ever more human beings living in poverty.

Dorothy went to jail any number of times for her radical commitment as a peacemaker. Her dedication to working for peace was matched only by a deep spiritual life that embraced voluntary poverty and walked daily in the trenches with her sisters and brothers. In the early days Dorothy would give up her only blanket and a spot on the floor to a homeless stranger and then provide a meal for them, having no idea where the money for tomorrow would come from. Dorothy had a beautiful trust in the Lord that spilled out into the words she wrote for the Catholic Worker Newspaper. It was there that she championed the dignity of the poor and launched a non-violent revolution of the heart that challenged her readers to become personally involved in the works of mercy and resistance to war.