Guide Oscar Romero & Dorothy Day (Hearts Aflame with Hope Book 4)

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The first was Peggy Baird Johns, a small, delicate woman seven years her senior with peculiar yellow eyes who spoke with a Long Island accent and was rumored to be the first woman in the Village to bob her hair. Peggy, it seems, knew the entire Village literary and radical crowd, including Jack London, John Reed, Emma Goldman, and Man Ray, and was married to the poet Orrick Johns, one of the first of the free-verse poets.

She painted landscapes and portraits, and wrote poetry and had a few assignments for the Call. She believed, for a time, in free love. Neither Dorothy nor Peggy had any real reason to be around the Provincetown Playhouse. Peggy seemed content to paint, and Dorothy occasionally read parts for absent actors during rehearsals and once auditioned for a part but was so miserable she never did it again.

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She was succeeding in earning her living as a journalist, however meager her wages were, but her writing dissatisfied her. Dorothy disagreed with Irwin in how she saw the world. His Lower East Side and hers were not alike, though Dorothy allowed that he knew it better, having grown up on Chrystie Street. Irwin emphasized the misery and degradation of the slums, while Dorothy, though she saw the misery, also saw the dignity and courage of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

In spite of these differences, she and Irwin became engaged, and he brought her home to meet his stern and beautiful Orthodox Jewish mother, who looked at Dorothy sorrowfully, as all three of her sons were dating gentile girls at the time. After Dorothy left, she broke the dish Dorothy had eaten from. All the young men argued about what to do while Dorothy worked briefly for the Collegiate Anti-Militarism League at Columbia University before bumping into Floyd Dell, the managing editor of the Masses , and becoming his assistant.

She loved her work at the Masses. The publication took itself less seriously than the Call , and it published ideas Dorothy had never seen—depictions of Christ as a longshoreman or as a fisherman sympathetic to unions. What a glowing word it was to us then, she wrote of her time at the paper almost thirty years later. To speak to the Masses. To write to the Masses, to be a part of the Masses. Her own first contribution was a poem followed by a handful of book reviews.

Generally, though, her duties were to answer the mail and send rejection slips to some of the best poets of the day with one word written on it, Sorry. Floyd Dell also taught her how to dummy up the paper for the printers, a skill she would come to need when she began her own paper. Though the first US forces were being sent to France, the summer of was a happy one for Dorothy. After a winter of living in unheated rooms, she had moved to a fifth-floor walk-up above the Provincetown Playhouse, rented for the summer from the novelist and critic Edna Kenton. There every night fevered young men gathered to talk the hours away as the threat of the draft hung over them.

There seemed to be nothing they could do, so she and Irwin would head out to Staten Island for picnics on the beach and to gather shells and stones. At night they roamed the streets, and Dorothy would invite back to the apartment homeless people she met in the park.

By November, Dorothy was back to her stream of cold rented rooms. Peggy may have been easy to dismiss as an uncommitted and free-spirited woman, but she was brave. Caught in one of the many riots at Union Square in , she had protected a deaf and mute boy about to be battered by the police by throwing her tiny arms around the boy and berating the officers until they backed off. After watching women being arrested, she joined the picket line, got arrested, and was given a fifty-dollar fine or thirty days in jail. The suffragists needed more women on the picket line, so Peggy returned to New York to drum up support.

When she walked into the Hotel Brevoort on Ninth Street, another favorite bohemian haunt, the first person she saw was Dorothy. Come down to Washington, DC, with me, she said. Why not? Dorothy replied. She had no job, all her friends were being arrested for either refusing conscription or evading the draft or were being sent off to fight.

The two of them left on the night train with eighteen other women. What had begun as a respectable picket had gotten rough. A group of sailors dragged the barricades away and attacked the women. Dorothy fought back and was attacked so furiously that the women, before they were arrested and hustled into the paddy wagons, huddled about her saying, Are you hurt, Miss Day? Are you hurt? Up until that day, the women who were arrested had been jailed overnight, released, and told to go home, at which point they changed their clothes and returned to the line.

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But this time the oldest woman, who was seventy-three years old, received a six-day sentence, while one of the leaders, Lucy Burns, a schoolteacher from Brooklyn, received six months, and Peggy and Dorothy each received thirty days. They were sent to Occoquan, a notorious work farm in Virginia, and while traveling there by train, Dorothy, feeling oppressed by the bleak countryside, wondered why she had gotten involved. That night when they arrived at Occoquan, November 15, the Night of Terror, as it came to be known, was the worst and most brutal incident of the treatment of the suffragists.

About forty guards, some dressed in street clothes and all armed with clubs, dragged, kicked, trampled, and choked the women. Some were knocked unconscious or threatened with rape. Three guards attacked Dorothy so violently the story made the newspapers. They throttled her, held her arms above her head, and smashed her several times against an iron bench, almost beating her senseless. Witnesses were afraid the guards had broken her back. Dorothy was not a timid person. Failing that, she took a taxi to find friends and ended up being attacked by the taxi driver in a Jewish cemetery in Yonkers.

She fought back, biting him until he bled, and then she demanded he drive her to the train station, which he did while cursing her until she got him to shut up by lecturing him all the way there. But the Night of Terror crushed Dorothy. Fortunately, she was put in the same cell as Lucy Burns, who, though handcuffed to the bars for three hours a sight that would haunt Dorothy for years , recognized the fragility of the young woman and kept her calm by talking the night through about the sea and traveling and Joseph Conrad, while they shared a single cot with no blankets.

The following day Lucy was put in solitary confinement, and Dorothy was left alone during the subsequent seven-day hunger strike, which she and eleven other women participated in. She wept throughout the week while reading the Psalms. The hunger strike had begun as a demand for political prisoner status, which, according to several accounts, Peggy had first suggested. Peggy, well versed in the radical world, which most of the suffragists were not, pointed out that they were political activists arrested on trumped-up charges for obstructing traffic and were treated more harshly than other prisoners, including being fed food crawling with worms.


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When news of the Night of Terror and of the hunger strike got out, the women were transferred to a DC jail where Dorothy spent her time reading Fortitude , a dense Victorian novel that suited her mood, while Peggy sketched portraits of fellow prisoners, until President Wilson pardoned all the women at the end of November. The warden of Occoquan, who ran his camp with bloodhounds and whipping posts, had been encouraged by the Wilson administration to terrorize the suffragists in an attempt to stop the movement, but it had the opposite effect, and money and support poured in.

Eight of the women who were most brutally treated, including Dorothy, sued the superintendent of prisons for eight hundred thousand dollars in damages. They withdrew the suit in when the wardens of both the DC jail and Occoquan were fired, and when women finally succeeded in getting the vote, a law that Dorothy, in her disinterest in politics and belief that change was more effectively brought about in other ways, would never take advantage of.

The future Pulitzer Prize winner was twenty-nine, divorced with a son, and just beginning to be recognized as a playwright of talent. That winter, that bitter, snowbound winter, when because of the war there was a coal shortage, and they had heatless Mondays Dorothy sometimes burned clothespins to keep warm followed by meatless Tuesdays, was a time that would remain with them all. Decades later, Gene recalled those days and nights as the happiest period of his life.

Just as Dorothy had walked the streets with Irwin the previous winter, she walked the streets with Gene, down West Street and up the East Side waterfront. But she felt safe with Gene. After the saloons closed, they continued to walk or rode in trucks along the waterfront, or on the Second Avenue El, and sometimes he would fall asleep on her shoulder. Romany Marie was an immigrant from Romanian Moldavia, an ex-anarchist who knew Emma Goldman from the early days.

She was dark and good-looking with a lovely low voice and laugh, and she provided meals to those who needed them. Some said she kept Gene alive by feeding him during his drunks. It was lit by candles in glass wine bottles on the wooden tables as there was no electricity. Unlike many of the others, she had a job with a regular paycheck working on the Liberator , the successor of the Masses , and she supplemented it with freelance work. Dorothy was the only one who could keep up with Gene.

She was the youngest—Irwin was three years older, Peggy seven, and Gene nine. She matched Gene hour for hour riding the buses and walking the streets, and talking, always talking. She loved to listen and to talk; she was tireless. No one ever wanted to go to bed, no one ever wanted to be alone, she wrote.

Gaudoin-Parker, a British priest, has over twenty years been living near Assisi. A contemplative lifestyle of reflection and research has permitted him to write articles for various periodicals and books focused on the Eucharist. Code: Call toll free: All other calls Fax: Email: sales stpauls. All other calls: Email: dismas stpauls. All Rights Reserved. Powered by The Ridgefield Group, Inc. New visitor? The epistle of St Peter speaks daringly of us as partakers of the divine nature. How apt as we contemplate ever more stringent requirements for asylum-seekers and refugees.

When you worship this God, if it does not make you see and feel like God, then that worship is a cult and for God it is an abomination, however elaborate it might be. God will not heed your worship, your beseeching, for your hands are full of blood, the blood of your sisters and brothers killed in wars that were avoidable. Demonstrate your repentance by how you treat the most vulnerable: the orphan, the widow, the alien. You will pity the helpless and needy and save the lives of the poor. To be partakers of the divine nature means we become more and more God-like, treating all with an even-handedness, even those we regard as evil.

To be like this God, who gives up on no-one, who loves us, not because we are loveable but that we become loveable only because God loves us, God loves us with a love that will not let us go, a love that loved us before we were created, a love that loves us now, a love that will love us forever, world without end.

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I take you, I take you very seriously, I take you — you — body and soul, you the visible and the invisible of you, I love you, I love you, I love you. The National Catholic Reporter printed some of their responses and I share them below. They are honest, moving and insightful.


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Not everyone will agree with all of their answers but we can all learn about what peace,peacefulness, peace activism and love for our neighbors means by reading their answers. I remember the many ways I learned patriotism and that one side in war,any war, was righteous and right while the other was always wrong.

I remember how it was wrong to hate, especially if you hated people like yourself-but somehow it was okay to hate people different from yourself especially if they were in a group we had been or were at war with. As a child I could not catch the inconsistencies, but I have caught them for a long while now and I marvel at how hard it still is to truly love your enemies as Jesus taught us to do. Most of us have experienced the love of families and friends, spouses and partners or significant others, neighbors,and communities,religious and secular.

It is a discipline of the heart, mind and soul. It is not at all easy to love as Jesus did. What restitution is there for losing a child, a sister or brother, a parent, relative or friend? There is nothing that can replace a human being. I know…I lost my mother when I was 16 and the oldest of four. I also lost my younger son when he was We know from experience that the death of a loved one causes grief beyond measure and it takes a long time before those left behind can gather their soul and breathe without feeling their heart aflame in the fires of hell. In fact, one never recovers completely.

Rather, he calls us to friendship — which implies equality between each man and each woman. Everyone is invited to the table. I can only hope and pray that in time and with the help of others around me that my anger would be a source of energy for good. I know this can happen.


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I have been influenced in this hope by hearing the children of survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They speak quietly but as if they are on a mission, sent by their ancestors to plead with the world to never let this happen again. If Germany or Japan had used nuclear weapons first in World War II, do you think that would have changed your opinion? However, over the years, the life and teachings of Jesus to put away the sword, to forgive and to love one another, have hopefully taken root in me so that I will not return violence for violence.

They lived in cabins, two families to a cabin, with no insulation, only bare boards. They used outside latrines and had a separate building for a dining hall. The concentration camps were surrounded by barbed wire, chain-link fences, and towers with armed guards. Many persons there had been born in the U. Jean died in , the most gentle, loving person.

William J. They crawled out from under the wreckage and then carried classmates out of the building and away from the fires around them. Carrying her classmates to safety, she inadvertently stepped on parts of dead bodies. To use the weapons is to cause irreparable harm to the ecosystem we depend upon for life. To build and possess them exposes us to the risk of accident or sabotage every day. This is a reckless policy! Believing that it provides security is delusional. We are as much blinded by our self-interest as any other individual or group, and should be as willing to submit to International Court and UN mandates, as we wish others to be.

Instead we use international organizations as a tool when it suits us, and ignore them if they wish to call our behavior to account. You defendants say you are Christians and one is a Buddhist. How do you respond to someone who believes there is no God? Who is to say what God believes, for example, when Christians used God to justify slavery and the Crusades? It should be these points alone that should answer this question for us. One does not need to believe in a God to know that nuclear war brings nothing but destruction to our Planet and the living organisms on it, just as one does not need to believe that nuclear war is detrimental in the most tremendous ways to believe in a God.

We give people reason to believe there is no God. We need to follow Jesus: lay down your arms, forgive one another, love one another. We mean nobody should be without bread. We say forgive us our trespasses. We mean nobody should be without forgiveness.

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Concerning the old doctrine of the just war theory, A. We should not wonder how people would say there is no God. We need the evidence of those following in the footsteps of Jesus. All religious traditions have the sense that we are all connected one to another and honor that. Unless we actively live that out, people will not be led to believe in God. How do you respond to those who have a God different from you when they argue that their religion is to crush others into dust?