Dorothy Day documentary in special showing Jan. 23 at Hendricken


Bishop Hendricken alumnus and president/founder of Journey Films Martin Doblmeier ('69) will be bring a special showing of his new film, “Revolution of the Heart: The Dorothy Day Story,” to Bishop Hendricken on Thursday, January 23 in Dr. Daniel S. Harrop Theater at 7 p.m. The film is being co-sponsored by St. Mary Academy-Bay View and is open to the public. 

How to describe Dorothy Day? Grandmother, anarchist, prophet, journalist, pacifist, saint? The FBI once considered her a threat to national security. Now the Catholic Church is considering her for sainthood.

The 55-minute film includes rare archival photographs and film footage, plus interviews with actor/activist Martin Sheen, public theologian Cornel West, popular author Joan Chittister, Jim Wallis of Sojourners and many others.

A new documentary profiles one of the most extraordinary and courageous women in American history – one who is being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church, but who famously said, “Don’t call me a saint, I don’t want to be dismissed that easily.” Realist and radical, Day was both a typical grandmother and a self-described anarchist who once made the FBI’s watch list as a “dangerous American.” “Revolution of the Heart” is the story of one of the greatest champions of the poor America has ever known. It will begin airing on public television stations in March 2020, for Women’s History Month. Special screening events will take place nationwide in January through March.

As a journalist, Dorothy Day covered workers’ rights and child labor. As an activist, she protested war and nuclear arms. Attracted to Communism as a young woman, she believed it was a way to improve people’s lives. She marched in support of women’s suffrage and was jailed and beaten.

After the birth of her daughter, she converted to Catholicism, and found Christianity to be an even more radical path. “If you take the Lord’s words, you’ll find they are pretty rigorous,” Day says in archival footage included in the film. “The Sermon on the Mount may be read with great enjoyment, but when it comes to practicing it, is really is an examination of conscience to see

how far we go.”

Day was co-founder (along with Peter Maurin) of the Catholic Worker Movement that began as a newspaper to expose rampant injustices during the Great Depression. It soon expanded to become a network of houses of hospitality to welcome the poor and destitute. Now nearly a century after they began, the number of Catholic Worker houses continues to grow and the newspaper is still speaking truth to power.

Over the years, Dorothy Day developed her understanding of how to follow the biblical challenge to be “peacemakers” by resisting all forms of military intervention. She protested America’s involvement in World War II and was severely criticized. Arrested multiple times for protesting America’s nuclear buildup, she also led nationwide resistance against the war in Vietnam.


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