Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, was a pacifist, a champion of the poor, a Communist (for a time), a writer, and a hell-raiser who took part in countless demonstrations in support of workers, women, the poor and the disenfranchised.
She spoke her mind. Before embracing Catholicism, she led what was once colorfully called a "bohemian" lifestyle. She had affairs, a common-law marriage, and a back-alley abortion, about which she wrote in a novel, "The Eleventh Virgin."
She died in 1980 at age 83.
On May 1, the Catholic Worker Movement celebrates its 75th anniversary. Today, there are more than 185 Catholic Worker houses around the world, promoting "nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and foresaken."
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