A Reflection on Rosalie G. Riegle, Dorothy Day: Portraits by Those Who Knew Her
Convert to Catholicism, unapologetic pacifist, denizen of the Lower East Side, comforter of the poor, journalist by trade, and nay-sayer to secular authority, Dorothy Day is a fascinating person known to many from her autobiography, The Long Loneliness. Indeed, like countless others, I was introduced to her and Peter Maurin’s Catholic Worker movement through that book. In the fall semester of my senior year at Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky, I read the Harper and Row reissue of The Long Loneliness and she was like no Catholic I had ever encountered in all my many years of Catholic schooling. That edition contained a compelling introduction by Daniel Berrigan, which led me to his other writings, which serendipitously led to a personally decisive encounter with a Catholic priest in Louisville, Kentucky, Jim Flynn, who was also the only person I knew at that time who was reading Berrigan.
In short order, Jim invited me to join him in an experiment in community living and peace-making. By this time, the spring semester of my senior year in 1982, I was all too eager to pass on going to law school and so, after graduation, I chose to live in community in Louisville’s West End. Through Jim, who was like no other priest I’d ever met and for whom the word “prophetic” had a resonant accuracy, I soon met Pat Geier, who became my best friend and who encouraged me to apply for a ministerial position in justice and peace at her parish, the Church of Epiphany. Read the rest of this entry »