Dorothy Day


Dorothy Day

Kate Hennessy’s Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty captured the life of a social and religious icon. In her younger life Dorothy Day had many challenges and fell victim to promiscuity. She had several affairs and aborted her young baby. Eventually, she was in a relationship with Foster that lasted until her death. With him a daughter Tamar was born. Tamar who was to marry and divorce David had nine children.

Kate Hennessy was Dorothy Day’s youngest granddaughter and was the author of this biography about the family. Dorothy purchased farms at Easton and Tivoli. On these properties she held retreats and communions that served the poor. At the Catholic Worker she practiced back-to-the-land movement and farming. After her conversion to Catholicism, Dorothy was always writing stories for the Catholic Worker with some 160,000 subscribers and touring the country giving talks.

Dorothy was exceptional by the way she functioned her ministry, but kept providing for her expanded family. While in New York she was mentored by priests, and later provided a home for some who were alcoholic. But the farms that were under the umbrella of the Catholic Worker were deteriorating and she had to sell or revitalize them. Often, there was shortage of funds to carry on her work. Still, she was able to help poor folk and her grandchildren at Cady Lane.

Pope Francis recognized her as a Servant of God. This was the first step toward canonization in the Catholic church. Dorothy lived into her eighties. She was never married, but had a life-long, and bittersweet relationship with Forster who was 85 when he died. She was a grandmother and great grandmother to her daughter Tamar’s children, and was instrumental in helping them in their lives. Dorothy later died from heart complications in the presence of Tamar. Just like how her mother Grace had died in Dorothy’s presence. 


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