“The Most Important Thing Is To Love”

The Witness of Dorothy Day

“The Most Important Thing Is To Love”

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In his address to Congress, Pope Francis spoke of Dorothy Day as an example of someone dedicated to “social justice and the rights of persons.” Here, from our archives, is an article from 1999 that gives a sketch of her life and speaks of her relationship with the Lord.

Hardly a seminarian of my era escaped her influence. Rare was the young priest untouched by her life. Whether or not we honored in our own lives her passionate commitment to the poor, or followed even distantly in her footsteps, she worried us. That was her gift to us, a gift I still cherish. —Cardinal John O’Connor of New York

When Cardinal O’Connor proposed the idea of sainthood for Dorothy Day in November 1997—one hundred years after her birth—he portrayed a woman who spoke out courageously against injustice, even when it made people uncomfortable.

Co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, Dorothy Day combined the practice of Christian charity with the struggle for social justice. Through her criticism of the economic and social structures that trap people in poverty, Day awakened Catholics—and Christians everywhere—to the need to change the conditions…

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