Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mount Mercy welcomes granddaughter of Dorothy Day for special forum

Martha Hennessy

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — Mount Mercy University will welcome Martha Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day, during a special presentation titled “The Catholic Worker Movement and its Relevance Today” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in Donnelly 300.

“I am committed to the Catholic Worker tradition of welcoming the needy, celebrating the dignity of work, and speaking out against war and injustice – all grounded on a foundation of prayer,” says Hennessy, whose grandmother served as co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, which started in 1933.

Hennessy will share stories and reflections on her grandmother’s life and work, and will provide insight on how the Catholic Worker Movement continues to be relevant well into the 21st century as the movement approaches its 80th anniversary in 2013. Hennessy will share her experiences of living the Catholic Worker life, including her reflections on radical solidarity with the poor, non-violent action, the fundamental dignity of every human person, and the many other ways more than 200 Catholic Worker communities continue to live the gospel call to justice.

Day has been declared a ‘Servant of God” by the Catholic Church, and a movement has been established to canonize her as a saint.

Dorothy Day with Martha in 1972.
The Catholic Worker movement was founded in 1933 in New York City by Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day to implement the teachings of the Gospels and Catholic Social Teachings and to promote the Biblical promise of mercy, compassion, justice and love. Grounded in the firm belief in the God-given dignity of every person, the movement is committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, personalization and the Works of Mercy as a way of life. The movement has spread far and wide – about 213 Catholic Worker communities, Idaho to Australia, serve those in need as part of the movement.

Hennessy, a mother and grandmother, lives with her husband on a small farm in Vermont. She works part time as an occupational therapist, and participates in resistance work against nuclear power and war, Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp, and the siege of Gaza.


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