Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker: The Miracle of Our Continuance

By Dorothy Day; Kate Hennessy | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

On an early spring day in 1955 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, two women met who on the surface could not have been more different. One was an atheist born of Jewish immigrants, a young woman of thirty-five with no children, and a documentary photographer. The other was a Catholic of old American Protestant stock and Mayflower descent, a grandmother of six with three more to come, and a writer, public figure, activist, and leader of a movement. But they shared a history formed and educated in the radical movements of their times and had been drawn to communism, which they both ultimately rejected.

Vivian Cherry and Dorothy Day had never met until then, though they lived on the same block of Chrystie Street, just south of East Houston, and it was a chance call from the Catholic magazine Jubilee that led to Vivian’s photographic assignment on the Catholic Worker, the movement Dorothy had co-founded. The details of how a Catholic magazine came to approach a Jewish photographer are long forgotten, but the two women took an instant liking to each other. Over the Worker’s eighty-plus-year history, only one other photographer—Jon Erikson in the early 1970s—has been allowed the kind of access that Vivian was given. She was shy and unassuming, and Dorothy felt comfortable in her presence. It was difficult for Dorothy to be photographed. Always aware of the sheer hard labor of many others at the Worker, she did not care to be the focus of publicity, and she had no patience with notions of celebrity.

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Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker: The Miracle of Our Continuance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 1
  • One- House of Hospitality 16
  • Two- The Paper 43
  • Three- The Farm 60
  • Four- The Duty of Delight 84
  • Five- Protest and Prison 107
  • Six- Prayer 116
  • Epilogue- What Can One Person Do? 128
  • Excerpt Sources 130
  • Index of Photos 133
  • Select Titles from Empire State Editions 137
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