Brigid O’Shea Merriman, O.S.F.
In this perceptive and engaging history, Brigid O’Shea Merriman, O.S.F., studies the spiritual development and religious vision of Dorothy Day, a pioneer of American social Catholicism and co-founder of the Catholic Worker and the Catholic Worker movement. Merriman explores Day’s spiritual roots in literature, especially the Scriptures, along with her sensibility and her aesthetic vision. The impact of Christian personalism, monasticism, and the retreat movement on her spirituality is also examined, including new material on Day’s association with Thomas Merton and a critical analysis of the Lacouture retreat movement. Friendship was an essential component of Day’s spirituality, and the final chapter discusses Day’s devotion to and enduring friendship with the saints, as well as her warm relationships with a number of her contemporaries.
“Influenced by many sources and people . . . Day lived a life of work and prayer in service of the poor. Merriman uses archival sources, correspondence, and interviews to study the effect of these influences on Day’s spirituality and her response to the social, economic, and spiritual turmoil in the mid-20th-century United States. A dynamic supplement to her life, this scholarly but accessible study does justice to Day and the Catholic Worker movement.” — Library Journal
“ . . . well-written, extensively researched, and illuminating . . .” — Commonweal
“Brigid Merriman’s concentration on Dorothy Day’s spirituality gives a much deeper insight into her spiritual roots than have previous writers.” — Pastoral Life
“Merriman places Dorothy Day in the larger perspective of Catholic thought and history and has done a fine job of sifting through an enormous amount of information.” — Catholic New Times