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Dorothy Day Cause for Canonization Moves Forward

April 20, 2016

The cause for Dorothy Day’s beatification and canonization moved into a new phase on April 19, 2016, as Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, opened the canonical inquiry on the life of the Catholic Worker movement founder, gathering evidence to determine if Day lived a life of “heroic virtue” in the eyes of the Church.
The Archdiocese, which is sponsoring her cause, will gather the evidence and present it to the Pope Francis and the Vatican’s Congregation for the Saints to determine if she will be elevated from “Servant of God” to “Venerable” and become eligible for beatification. 
Day founded the Catholic Worker Movement with Peter Maurin in 1933 in New York City, following her conversion to Catholicism in 1927. Day remained active in the Catholic Worker movement until her death in New York at the age of 83 in 1980. 
A few years after her death, the Claretian fathers began collecting materials for a canonization effort. In 2000, at the request of Cardinal John O’Connor, the Vatican provided its nihil obstat, naming Day “Servant of God” and opening the canonization process. Msgr. Gregory Mustaciuolo was named “postulator” or chief advocate for the Cause of Canonization. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provided its formal endorsement in 2012.

About 50 eyewitnesses—people who had first-hand experience of Day—will be interviewed. Dolan also will appoint a historical commission that will place Day’s life in historical context and review her unpublished writings, which also will be reviewed by theological experts.

In the fall of 2015, Ave Maria Press published a series of reflections Day wrote during Advent. Ave will rerelease Day's biography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, called Thérèse, in the fall of 2016.

Find out more by reading the release on the Archdiocese of New York website.

About Dorothy Day

Servant of God Dorothy Day (1897–1980) was a pacifist, social commentator, journalist, convert to Catholicism, and cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Day was baptized in the Episcopal Church. As a young adult, she was a political radical and socialist, sympathizing with anarchists and communists. Day was increasingly drawn to Catholicism because she saw it as the Church of immigrants and the poor. After giving birth to her daughter, Tamar, in 1926, Day converted to Catholicism. Day cofounded the Catholic Worker movement in 1933 with Peter Maurin to live and spread the vision of Catholic social teaching.

Day was the author of several books, including her autobiography, The Long Loneliness. She honored by the University of Notre Dame with the Laetare Medal in 1972. She died in 1980 in New York and her cause for canonization was launched by Cardinal John J. O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, in 1997 on what would have been her one-hundredth birthday.

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