The Catholic Worker Movement

On Pilgrimage - July/Aug 198

By Dorothy Day

The Catholic Worker, July-August 1980, 2, 6.

Summary: Jottings about music, dramas, and documentaries she enjoyed on TV and radio. Notes the comings and goings of friends and recollects times past. Mentions where she learned about praying for those who commit suicide. (DDLW #922).

Diary Notes

Mon., 6/2–I went downstairs to Mass in our auditorium this evening.–Anne Perkins called.

Tues., 6/3–Watched Dr. Marion Moses on a NOVA program on Channel 13. It showed some of her research on dioxin and other environmental and occupational hazards.

Wed., 6/4–Wagner’s Tannhauser, from Bayreuth, was on television tonight.

Thurs., 6/5–Dorothy Gauchat called from Our Lady of the Wayside, Avon, Ohio. She has also written me a letter about her work there, which we’re printing in this issue of The Catholic Worker.

Sun., 6/8–Nina Polcyn Moore called. She was one of the first to come as a volunteer, when we were at Charles Street, and we picketed the Bremen together (a ship with Hitler’s swastika) in 1935. Another girl came at the same time and left to become a Carmelite–Sister Evangeline Mercier, now with the Boston Carmel. Nina and I also went to Russia together in 1972.

100,000 Cuban refugees in Arkansas–2,000 of them have been processed and released.–213,000 Vietnamese to Hong Kong.–Mt. St. Helens erupted steam 12,000 feet in the air.–Computer breakdown brought us to the verge of nuclear war twice today!

Tues., 6/10–Mary Lathrop Pope came in, just back from Paris. She and Kevin saved their money for this trip–Kevin worked at Bread for the World, while Mary worked in Wall Street, where they needed someone who had a knowledge of French. They brought many photos back from France. Mary is so young and strong. I asked her to make my bed, changing the sheets, which she did most efficiently. I am very fond of her.

Jane Sammon was on hand tonight to give me my medicine. We had a good talk of Mexico. Some day, I must write of my time in Xochimilco with Tamar years ago. Mary Heaton Vorse and Lalah Rogers, also Katherine Anne Porter, visited us there.

Fri., 6/13–John Cort speaking at our Friday night meeting tonight. I could not go. Listened to Placido Domingo in Tosca on television.

Mon., 6/16–Program on television on the “right” to suicide–“Rational Suicide!” When a son of a friend of ours took his own life years ago, I asked the Spanish priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on 14th St. “Did he die in mortal sin?” I was remembering Kirilov in The Possessed by Dostoyevsky. The priest said, “There is no time with God, and all the prayers and Masses said for him after his death will have given him that moment of turning to God in penitence.”

I have some ash from Mt. St. Helens from David Rice of Portland, Oregon, now a volunteer at St. Joseph House. He was at the Alderson, West Virginia Catholic Worker House before he came here.

Tue., 6/17–A sunny day. Tonight, Deane Mowrer, Fr. Geoff, Mike Harank, David Beseda, Ruth Clements, Larry Rosania, Gary Donatelli, Mary Mullins, Jeannette Noel, Deven Hubert, Jane Sammon, Pat and Kathleen Jordan and their children, and some of the Sisters from St. Rose’s went to Central Park to hear Luciano Pavarotti in Rigoletto. While they were there, news came of the birth of a baby girl, Maura Anne, to Janet Ward and Bob Hirschfield at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

I watched the Bill Moyers show-–a conversation with Mexican author Carlos Fuentes. Also the series on Disraeli.

Fri., 6/20–Father Dan Berrigan is our speaker tonight.–Dr. Marion Moses visited me. She is just back from Canada where she was researching at a copper smelter. Her main interest is the occupational and environmental influence on the health of workers.

Sat., 6/21–Margaret Lloyd called. We both are collectors of beautiful stones.

Sun., 6/22–Carol Berrigan, Fr. Dan’s sister-in-law, is in town from Syracuse. I felt too sick to see her.

Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony on the radio.–Kathy Clarkson came with some ice cream! She just had a three month retreat at Mayknoll in New Mexico.

Tues., 6/24–Watched the old movie Jane Eyre, on TV.

Wed., 6/25–Saw Irene Worth in Samuel Beckett’s play Happy Days on Channel 13. A British actress–marvelous comic–also tragedies. I first saw her in T.S. Elliot’s The Cocktail Party–My favorite line of the play–“Wait and do nothing.”

Also watched a documentary on Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne (she played in the original production of Gene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude).

Tom Sullivan called after reading John Cort’s article about the Catholic Worker in Commonweal. Tom, a former managing editor of the The Catholic Worker is from Chicago, as is Jim O’Gara, now editor of Commonweal. Ed Skillin is still its publisher. They used to take people from the Catholic Worker with them on their yearly retreats at Portsmouth Priory. George Shuster was editor of the Commonweal when he sent Peter Maurin to me after I came back from Washington, D.C. on the Hunger March in 1932.

Fri., 6/27–Our last Friday night meeting until September. Jim Harney is speaking–a report from El Salvador.

Sun., 6/29–Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.–Lee LeCuyer’s birthday.–Watched a repeat of Happy Days on television in the afternoon, and listed to Wagner’s Die Meistersinger on the radio this evening.

Mon., 6/30–Very hot! Received a letter from a reader who also enjoyed the novel, The First Violin.

Wed., 7/4–Firecrackers all day. Janet and Bob have taken their beautiful new baby, Maura, down to the beach on Staten Island.–Very quiet now, just little crackling noises and sudden large ones.–Couldn’t get downstairs for Mass this evening. Received Communion in my room.

Sat., 7/5–Watched Alastair Cooke’s series on American history–World War II–Deane Mowrer has gone to the farm in Marlboro for the summer.

Wed., 7/9–Tamar is here. She has Deane’s room while she is away.–Mary Mullins has made little, leather baby shoes for Maura.

Fri., 7/11–Betty Kiernan, a nurse at the Manhattan Bowery Project, where Father Peter of the Little Brothers of the Gospel also works, came to draw blood samples from me for Dr. Moses. It was gruesome, but painless.

Sat., 7/12–Enjoyed Isaac Stern in concert in the afternoon on TV; Kirsten Flagstad on radio, Alastair Cooke on TV; and then Tamar and I stayed up to watch Dorothy Sayer’s The Nine Tailors at 10:30 p.m. on television.

Wed., 7/16–Dr. Marion Moses called, said my blood tests were OK–I should have them three or four times a year.

–Sixth Century BC–now open for the first time in 25 years. Having read, in Timemagazine, news about Moa Tse Tung and the Chinese Revolution, my enthusiasm caused me to announce that, for Friday meeting at Chrystie Street for which we had no speaker, I’d talk about China. Chinese from all over the city, Columbia University and Chinatown, came to hear me, much to my embarrassment.

Sat., 7/19–Deane’s birthday–Peggy Scherer drove a group to the farm to celebrate with her. They left here at 10:30 a.m.–Tina de Aragon called.

Sun., 7/20–Watched program on television about Bishop Garcia, who cares for the poor in southern Mexico.

Mon., 2/21–Boston Symphony program on radio this evening.–Freddy Rubino came and visited with Tamar. Freddy used to live upstairs from us in 15th Street, where Catholic Worker started. He now has three sons, the youngest 19 years old.

Tues., 7/22–In the mail this morning: a packet of current new clippings from Bill Oleksak, who has been faithfully sending them to me for many years; and a manuscript from Father John J. Hugo–the final draft of his latest book, My Ways Are Not Your Ways. Father Hugo is still giving his famous retreats in Pittsburgh, where everyone has to keep silent for an entire week, an almost impossible job in this modern day.

Tamar left for Vermont. I’ll miss her.