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A new way to explore the newspaper of the Catholic Worker movement started by Dorothy Day

March 7, 2019

Dorothy Day
It’s Women’s History month. A special time when well-known and a few no-so-well-known women get highlighted. Even though she was publicly acknowledged by Pope Francis as a great American during his 2015 speech before Congress, too many have heard too little about Dorothy Day. She was the co-founder of a movement that has produced Catholic Worker communities, “committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and forsaken.” The organ of the movement since its inception in 1933 is The Catholic Worker newspaper. As their Website goes on to say, “Catholic Workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms” (www.catholicworker.org).

What’s exciting is that an open digital archive of The Catholic Worker (1943 – 2016) has just become available, with promise of the first decade being added soon. Nonetheless, these digitized primary sources at thecatholicnewsarchive.org already give a unique and invaluable view on current world events from World War II to the early twenty-first century.

The media this week is buzzing about Pope Francis’ announcement to open the 1939-1958 files in the Vatican archives. As much as it will be a boon for scholars to be able to investigate those World War II/Holocaust-era documents, they won’t become available until March of 2020. Until then, and even on into the future, it’s great that researchers will have ready online access to some notable and freely-available historical primary sources via The Catholic News Archive, a project of the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (www.catholicresearch.org).

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