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Catholic Worker Movement

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Casa Maria, 401 East 26th St., is one of 175 Catholic Worker communities committed to nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer and hospitality for the homeless. The Catholic Worker movement, founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933, is pacifist and anti-racist.

Dorothy Day was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1897 and died in 1980. Her followers are attempting to have her canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint. Before founding the movement, she was a radical journalist and activist once imprisoned for suffragist protest actions.

The original Catholic Worker center is in New York. Aside from Day and Maurin, perhaps its most prominent member was Michael Harrington, who joined the movement and lived at the center in the 1950s. Harrington (1928-1989) was the author of The Other America: Poverty in the United States. Its publication in 1962 was said to greatly influence President John F. Kennedy.

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