Tag Archives: Catholic Worker

Catholic Worker legacy alive and well in Portland

Street Roots editorial Sept 14, 2012

It’s been more than 30 years since Dorothy Day died, but her spirit remains alive and well.

She was the founder and virtual personification of the Catholic Worker movement that said hospitality will triumph over hostility, and that violence isn’t necessary for, and in fact impedes, great change. It is a concept for organizing and empowering the poor that is incorporated in the foundation of many grassroots groups here in Portland, including Street Roots. Continue reading


All is Grace: A biography of Dorothy Day

By Joe Martin, Contributing Columnist

Author Jim Forest knew Dorothy Day. In the early ’60s he edited “The Catholic Worker” paper, which has never sold for more than a penny a copy since its first edition was handed out in Union Square in New York City on May 1, 1933. “All Is Grace” is Forest’s elegant homage to Day, the Catholic Worker movement she co-founded and the many remarkable people who were part of her eventful life. Her approach inspires the founding principles behind several grassroots organizations in Portland, including Street Roots, Sisters of the Road and Blanchet House. She was 83 when she died in 1980. The book is splendidly enhanced by a terrific array of photographs and artwork.

Day was an unlikely convert to Catholicism. Her childhood home was not a particularly religious one, although she had been baptized in the Episcopal Church. As a young woman she was immersed in the leftist politics of early-20th-century America. She had been arrested a few times — once at a suffragette protest in Washington, D.C., and again in Chicago when a Red Squad descended upon her rooming house, which was connected with the Industrial Workers of the World, the Wobblies. Continue reading