The Catholic Worker Movement

On Pilgrimage - September 1980

By Dorothy Day

The Catholic Worker, September 1980, 6

Summary: A series of brief diary entries about phone calls, Masses, shows on TV, operas, books she’s reading, recollections of friends and times past. A quote from St. Augustine on the love of God. (DDLW #917).

Diary Notes

Thurs., 7/24 —Ammon Hennacy’s birthday. He would have been 87 years old today.

Who used to go through trash cans and collect books and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal for me? Mr. Woodlock of The Wall Street Journal used to contribute to Peter Maurin–also Mr. Moody of Moody Investment Service.

“Their troubles were multiplied. Afterwards, they made haste.” Where does this quotation come from?

Fri., 7/25– Ruth Collins stopped by this afternoon, bringing a gardenia plant in bloom which she had grown, and some Bronte books.

Dr. Marion Moses visited me this evening. She says Cesar Chavez will be in town soon for a fund-raising rally for the United Farm Workers Union at St. Paul’s Church, to inaugurate a nation-wide boycott of Maggio carrots.

Sun., 7/27– Sunday Mass on television this morning.

Earthquake tremors in West Virginia, Ohio and several other states.

Mon., 7/28– Jacques Travers, who runs the Arthur Sheehan House of Hospitality in Brooklyn, sent over gifts before leaving for France for a visit with his family. I loved the people in Mexico and Italy–they always tried to understand you–but not in France. Peter Maurin, Jacques Maritain and family, Jacques Travers and Leon Bloy appealed to me. The latter wrote The Woman Who Was Poor.

Fri., 8/1– Isabella Levitan Yanovsky called. She and Dr. Yanovsky are on their way to Long Island for a vacation.

Received childhood picture of my sister Della and me from Della’s son, John Spier, who lives on the West Coast, in California.

Sat., 8/2– Listened to La Boheme on radio this afternoon. Tonight, a program on television about Vincent Van Gogh in Amsterdam. His letters to Theo, his brother, told of his poverty, his hunger. He did without food to buy paints.

D H Lawrence and Frieda–his book Women in Love. My sister Della and I read him and wore colored stockings, as his heroines did.

Sun., 8/3 – Mass on television at 10 a.m.

Brahms lieder on the radio this evening. Then a Boston Pops concert on TV and a Bill Moyers show.

Tues., 8/5 –Two books from Roger Lederer – some Tolstoi short stories and The Truth Will Make You Free; Letters to the Little Brothers of the Gospel by their superior, Renee Voillaume. Of our Little Brothers here in New York, Brother Peter is a priest and Brother Maurice is working with poor senior citizens.

A man is here doing research for a biography of Ammon Hennacy. Dan Mauk spoke with him.

Phone calls from Tina de Aragon and Eileen Egan. One of the women in the house gave me wild flowers (Queen Anne’s lace, etc.) from city vacant lots! Beauty in the city! I like to press Queen Anne’s lace in my books.

Wed., 8/6– Anniversary of Hiroshima. The first account in a morning newspaper that day was, “President Truman was jubilant.” What a word to use!

Fri, 8/8– Eruptions again, yesterday and today, from Mt. St. Helens volcano near Portland, Oregon.

Sun., 8/10– Mass on television. – Nina Polcyn Moore called. We had a long talk (Sunday rates).

Dorothy Gauchat visited from Newport, Rhode Island. She is returning there after spending tonight with Anne Marie and Steve Kaune in Brooklyn. Her son, Eric, is taking care of things at Our Lady of the Wayside, Avon, Ohio, while Dorothy is away.

Thus., 8/21– Some Wagner music on radio: the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde.

Fri., 8/22– A letter from Marge Hughes’ sister-in-law, Helen Hughes, Seneca Falls, N.Y. Marge now lives in West Hamlin, West Virginia.

Sat., 8/23– Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro was the Saturday afternoon opera on radio. I prefer Puccini’s Tosca and La Boheme to Figaro.

I am re-reading Mike Gold’s Jews Without Money, a battered paperback, its pages yellow with age, but you can still read the quotations from The New York Times reviewer, enthusiastically recommending it: “It has the deep shadows of a Rembrandt picture and the high challenge of a Whitman poem.” It reminded me so much of my first newspaper job on The New York Call, and my meeting with Mike, whose name was Irwin Granich. I must try to find another copy, bound and on better paper.

Sun., 8/24– Music from Wagner’s Tannhauser and Die Valkure on radio.

Mon., 8/25All Creatures Great and Small on TV, followed by a woman’s rights program (the anniversary of woman’s suffrage) about Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I went to jail in Washington, D.C. for woman’s suffrage in the fall of 1917, but I have never voted.

Thurs., 8/28– Feast of St. Augustine, (A.D. 354-430). My favorite quotation from The Confessions of St. Augustine: “What is it that I love when I love my God? It is a certain light that I love and melody and fragrance and embrace that I love when I love my God–a light, melody, fragrance, food, embrace of the God-within, where, for my soul, that shines which space does not contain; that sounds which time does not sweep away; that is fragrant which the breeze does not dispel; and that tastes sweet which, fed upon, is not diminished; and that clings close which no satiety disparts–this is what I love when I love my God.”

St. Augustine is a favorite saint of Frank Sheed, who translated the entire Confessions during a trans-Atlantic crossing by steamship. Frank and his wife, Maisie Ward, were among the earliest friends of the Catholic Worker.