Today (November 8th) marks the 120th birthday of Dorothy Day, co-founder (with Peter Maurin) of the Catholic Worker Movement.
In honor of the occasion, we offer this introductory reading guide on Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement.
We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and we offer a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.
7. The Catholic Worker Movement: Intellectual And Spiritual Origins
By Mark and Louise Zwick
This book is essential reading for understanding the legacy behind the Catholic Worker Movement. The founders of the movement, Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin met during the Great Depression in 1932. Their collaboration sparked something in the Church that has been both an inspiration and a reproach to American Catholicism. Dorothy Day is already a cultural icon. Once maligned, she is now being considered for sainthood. From a bohemian circle that included Eugene O’Neil to her controversial labor politics to the founding of the Catholic Worker Movement, she lived out a civil rights pacifism with a spirituality that took radical message of the Gospel to heart. Mark and Louise Zwick’s thorough research into the Catholic Worker Movement reveals who influenced Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day and how the influence materialized into much more than good ideas. Dostoevsky, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Francis of Assisi, Therese of Lisieux, Jacques and Raissa Maritain and many others contributed to fire in the minds of two people that sought to “blow the dynamite of the Church” in 20th-century America. This fascinating and detailed work will be meaningful to readers interested in American history, social justice, religion and public life. It will also appeal to Catholics wishing to live the Gospel with lives of action, contemplation, and prayer.