Dorothy Day (1897-1980) began her adult life as a socialist seeking religious truth and ended it as a Catholic influenced by socialist ideals. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Chicago, her early adulthood included work as a progressive journalist reporting on social issues of the day. In November 1917 Day went to prison for being one of forty women in front of the White House protesting women’s exclusion from the electorate.
In 1927, following the birth and baptism of her daughter, Day was received into the Catholic Church and became committed to using Catholic teachings to fight poverty and social injustice. In 1933 in New York City, she co-founded (with Peter Maurin) the Catholic Worker newspaper that advocated pacifism and positive social action. Day opened homeless shelters across the country and later led movements protesting nuclear war, militarism, and racial bigotry.
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