Religious Influences In Dorothy Day's Life

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Dorothy Day has been widely regarded as the saint of the century amongst Catholics. She is a candidate to being awarded the status of sainthood. She has even been referred to as the “legendary Catholic social activist.” However, this was not always the case of Day. As a young adult, Day was indulged .in the anarchist way of life. She and her friends shared anarchist views, and lead a Bohemian lifestyle. The difference between Day and her activist friends was the fact that Day had influences in her life that turned her towards religion. The most important influences were those coming from her friends and family, but also from living as an activist. As a young girl living in California, Day had some early interactions with religion and Christianity that seem to have stayed in her subconscious until her adult life, leading her to her Christian self. Living in Berkeley, a seven year-old Dorothy, “spent hours one rainy Sunday afternoon reading the Bible”(20) in her attic. Though she admitted in the book to not remembering anything of what she had read, she claims to remember “the sense of holiness in holding the book in [her] hands”(20). This memory can be the earliest indication of her closeness to religion. Additionally, when Day and her family moved to Oakland, they lived next door to a Methodist family. Her neighbor, Birdie,…show more content…
It was when she moved from Chicago to New York. She quickly noticed how the poverty in New York was different from that of Chicago. Specifically, “the poverty of New York was appallingly different from that of Chicago... The sight of homeless and workless men lounging on street corners or sleeping in doorways in broad sunlight”(51) one of the many things Day found appalling of the poverty she found in New York. But she was also the one that found herself wanting to live among these surroundings, and believed it would free her from the loneliness she felt at the
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