Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

March 20, 2017

Entertaining Angels: A Film on the Life of Dorothy Day

Entertaining Angels, a 1996 film on the life of Dorothy Day, is available online free of charge. The film runs 1:51:31. The film traces Dorothy’s spiritual and religious development as she leaves her career in journalism to live a bohemian lifestyle in Greenwich Village while advocating for women’s rights and the rights of the poor. The film covers her conversion to Catholicism and her ensuing lifelong dedication to helping the poor.

The following study questions (from Foundations of Catholic Social Teaching, Ave Maria Press, 2015) are a helpful film guide. Distribute the questions prior to watching the film so that the students can be aware of what they will be responsible for answering. Each item can be answered in one or two detailed paragraphs.

Study Questions

1. The movie opens with a quotation from Dorothy Day: “I wanted the abundant life….  I did not have the slightest idea how to find it.” At first, how does Dorothy try to find the abundant life? Is she successful? In the end, do you think she found the “abundant life”? Why or why not?

2. Much of Dorothy’s view toward justice revolves around the notion of seeing Christ in his people: “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40). How is this Scripture verse exemplified in her words and actions? Share at least two examples.

3. Pick three quotations from the movie (from any of the characters) and explain how they illustrate the meaning of justice.

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