Dorothy Day's Role In The Early 20th Century

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In the early 20th century, as the world faced many changing issues, progressive American Catholics found a leader in Dorothy Day to combine their religious principles with an active social program. Dorothy Day, although not born or raised Catholic, ultimately converted because she believed that, despite its wealth, the Catholic Church was still a place for immigrants and for the poor. These were especially predominant groups of people then, as the United States was suffering from the impacts of the Great Depression. Day recognized the need to help them, writing that her “…heart is wrung by the suffering in the world and I do so little.” Her humility undermines her contributions to American Catholicism and the progressive movement in the United States. Dorothy Day had a significant impact on American religious history because she was a central figure of the Catholic Worker movement, as conveyed through her newspaper, Catholic Worker farms,…show more content…
As explained in Day’s own words, the goal of the newspaper was “…to let them know that there are men of God who are working not only for their spiritual, but for their material welfare.” Founded in 1933 with her friend Peter Maurin, the newspaper was an essential portion of the Catholic Worker movement and “…challenged the status quo of the broader American society, and the Catholic Church…based on the radical teachings of Jesus.” , While the newspaper pushed forward the radical social teachings of the church, “it would be several years until the church began to catch up….” In the meantime, the newspaper was important because of its ability to spread ideas to those in the Catholic Worker community and through the Church at large. Particularly, the Catholic Worker was the voice of the movement to the world and its own

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