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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Dorothy Day's sainthood cause advances

As Dorothy Day's sainthood cause advances, this Catholic Worker won't be celebrating

On Dec. 8, Dorothy Day's cause for canonization will advance from the New York Archdiocese to the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The event, which signals the conclusion of a national process investigating Day's holiness, will be marked with a Mass celebrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

"That's the way people try to dismiss you," Dorothy Day told a reporter for The Chicago Tribune in 1977. "If you're a saint, then you must be impractical and utopian, and nobody has to pay any attention to you. That kind of talk makes me sick." But, longtime activist and Catholic Worker Brian Terrell points out in his commentary that like some other of Day's sharpest comments, this quote has softened with its retelling, coming to rest as "Don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed that easily."

"Of course, to recognize that someone is a saint is not necessarily to dismiss them," Terrell writes. "The fruits of Day's own lifelong devotion to the saints proves this. Day's dread of being dismissed while named a saint, however, is well founded and should not itself be easily dismissed as simple humility."

Read more of this commentary here.

More background:

At the table of plenty, is there room for me?

In a commentary for NCR, Mark Piper writes about returning to his hometown for a memorial service for one of his high school teachers, knowing that another of his former teachers would be also attending and would resurrect an ongoing debate about whether Piper is still Catholic or not.

"But unlike during previous conversations, I simply didn't have the heart to do battle with my interlocutor, whom I now viewed as having the far superior upper hand in this debate," Piper said. "For, in the erudite words of Fr. Bryan Massingale, as a Catholic, I'm exasperated."

"While I couldn't come up with a reason for hope in preparation of that question, a rather profoundly dispiriting notion came to mind — the sunk cost fallacy," Piper writes. "In my own examination of conscience, I wonder, am I still practicing, am I still endeavoring on this way of life within this institution because of the amount of time and energy I have already expended."

Read more of this commentary here.

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