Standing on the Shoulders of Giants – Dorothy Day

As an aging crone, I draw comfort from the struggles of those who sought to make the world a better place. Dorothy Day tried.  Here are some of her quotes.

Dorothy Day quotes

You can read her biography on Wikiepedia.  She was and remains controversial, Contraversay is the stuff of critical thinking, so read and think.

The short version pf her life: She  was  born in Brooklyn on November 6, 1897; her family was middle class American of Scotch and British descent; her parents were not very religious.

the family moved twice during her early years. First, to California and living there  until the  San Francisco Earthquake struck and her father lost his job.  He was a sports writer.  From California, the family moved  to Chicago.

Day was awarded a scholarship to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois,  but dropped out in her second year, and moved to New York, She was eighteen. There she lead the life of a bohemian and radical socialist. She worked as a journalist; got married but only  briefly; had an abortion; and was eventually jailed for her political actions.

Thinking the abortion had left her sterile, she was delighted to find herself pregnant and gave birth at the age of  29 to a daughter Tamar Theresa. The baby’s father was not so happy ; the couple quarreled most about Day’s increasing  religiosity and her desire to have Tamar baptized. The couple separated; not only was Tamar baptized, but Day converted to Catholicism.

She eventually met Peter Maurin, a travelling French Catholic intellectual. Through him she found her life’s work. Together they founded  the Catholic Worker newspaper. Beginning in 1935, the Catholic Worker began publishing articles that articulated a rigorous and uncompromising pacifist position, breaking with the traditional Catholic doctrine of just war theory.

Moreover, her effort to see the good in all people lead her to praising too many whose words sounded good, but whose deeds were not.  Think Stalin, Mao, Castro.

She was arrested many times during her life. The arrests were during demonstrations seeking justice.   She died on November 29. 1980.

Day’s life is significant for many things, but mostly for her outside view of Catholicism. She marched to the dogma singing a  different tune than most Catholics.

A proposal for Day’s canonization was put forth  in 1983.  Pope John Paul II granted the Archdiocese of New York permission to open her cause, allowing her to be called a “Servant of God” in the eyes of the Catholic Church. Some members of the Catholic Worker Movement objected to the canonization process as a contradiction of Day’s own values and concerns.

She is quoted as saying, “Don’t call me a Saint, I am an ordinary person.”

Emotional Fitness Training Thoughts

Self-awareness is part of Emotional Intelligence. Do you know the heroes that have most directed your life? What drew you to them? Which  values they embody  do you espouse today?

I admire Day’s quest for social justice. I have concerns about her radical pacifism, the killing of innocents cannot be condoned, no matter what the supposed effort toward good is espoused.

I admire most that her actions in seeking justice spoke loudly and a time, women’s voices were rarely raised.


Children model their heroes. Parents can guide their child’s choice of hero.  As always look for those who work to make the world a better place as Day.


Thank you for all you do.  Thank me by remembering sharing is caring; so is liking, or commenting. Your caring keeps me going.



These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Easy Emotional Fitness Exercises (
The five components of Emotional Intelligence ( Intelligence ( Fitness Tips for Parents  (
An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents(

Related to this  WordPress’s Daily Post Prompt? You decide. Here it is: Because the Night -Are you a night owl or are you the early bird? What’s your most productive time of day? When do you do your best work?

Absoulutely no relatedness as you probably guessed. Moreover, not a very inspiring one, but might increase your self-awareness.

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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