Saturday, August 15, 2020

Dorothy Day In Melbourne 16 August 1970

 50 years ago today Dorothy Day spoke in #Melbourne. Thanks to Dally Messenger III for making the recording of this talk available here.

This was a valuable and significant moment in Australian Catholic Church history. In my own life it is one of those "lost" moments.

The Catholic boys school I was attending in 1970 told us nothing of Dorothy Day but made sure we went to a public talk by B.A. Santamaria. It would be almost a decade later before I heard any mention of the life and work of Dorothy who I now look at as a mentor for living my faith.

This anniversary is marked by the publication of a new work from Dr Val Noone, another inspiring writer and commentator on religious perspectives.


Val Noone, Dorothy Day in Australia, 132 pages, 40 images
Published by Mary Doyle & Val Noone, PO Box 51, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 Tel: 03 9419 8631. Email:

The first chapter outlines Dorothy Day’s background and the importance of the anarchist-pacifist Catholic Worker movement; and considers the views of a couple of critics. The second chapter surveys a series of prior Australian connections with Dorothy and the American movement, from the launching of their paper in 1933 up to the eve of her visit. Chapter Three sets down an account of Dorothy’s three weeks in Australia in August 1970 – two in New South Wales and one in Victoria. She came as the guest of two radical Australian priests, Roger Pryke, and John Heffey. Chapter Four sketches examples of Dorothy’s continuing influence in Australia. Her inspiring story offers food for thought about how to live a good life in this time of crisis for humankind

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