By Dorothy Day
The Catholic Worker, September 1934, 3, 7.
Summary: A review of summer activities including a children’s party held in honor of the Feast of the Assumption, passing out literature, answering inquiries, and the various summer centers hosting lectures. Describes a feisty infant whose antics inspired Peter Maurin to recite the principles of Catholic Action to this “potential recruit.” Defends The Catholic Worker’s* reaction to Rockerfeller’s recent donations to Catholic Charities in light of violence in Ludlow, Colorado. (DDLW #281).*
“Be sure and put it in the paper that we had a party again this year,” the kids of the house said on the Feast of the Assumption. And a swell party it was, even better than last year because there were four extra kids from the Guido family, who moved in next door during the year. There was Sara and Sammie, and Johnnie and little Mary, who calls herself Meddy; and there was Freddy Rubino, who drew such a lovely picture of a little boy praying (he was quite uplifted), which we published a few months ago; and there was Sonny and Ethel, and this year Ethel was too big to wear a veil; and there was Teresa, who has grown almost a foot and is so brown she looks like Freddy’s sister.
The statue of the Blessed Virgin which came from Rome and is said to have been blessed by the Holy Father was set out in the midst of the geraniums, petunias and spider plants, and vigil lights and bouquets surrounded her and she looked most happy beaming over the fiesta. It was a gala day and the party continued until untold sparklers and candles had been burned and everybody stayed up until ten-thirty in true fiesta spirit.
The Catholic Worker Propaganda Committee of young people from Cathedral College, Columbia, City College, Long Island College and any number of other places gathered to distribute literature–6,000 copies of The Catholic Worker and 4,000 leaflets throughout the city, and the office was crowded all day with visitors and workers.
It has been a lively and pleasant summer, and although we skipped an issue because we didn’t have enough money to print, the work continued apace, and more and more inquiries came in by mail and in person. When we weren’t answering letters we were answering questions from people who flock to the office.
One of the editors visited Stamford to speak on “The Quest for Social Justice” and the work being done there at that summer center is inspiring. A tremendous amount of research and outlining has been done for study club work, and there were meetings up there every afternoon of groups to study different phases of Catholic Action and to learn how to lead groups in their home parishes. Father Dasey and Dr. Blanche M. Kelly were ably assisted by the Baroness de Hueck of Toronto, who came there to study the formation of study clubs and worked at one-week, two-week, and six-week outlines of courses to be followed.
The significance of the work being done at Stamford can be appreciated when one realizes how dear to the heart of the Holy Father is this work. The Apostolic Delegate, too, stresses it as one of the great needs of the day.
Another visit was made to Rhode Island to another Catholic summer community where a talk was given to a group of Catholics interested in social justice. Bishop Hafey of North Carolina was present at the meeting and gave the group his blessing. He promises to drop in to The Catholic Worker office when he is in New York to meet the group of Fifteenth Street workers.
One of the girls of the House of Hospitality had a baby this summer up at Bellevue Hospital, and at this moment baby Barbara is out in the back yard sunning herself in her carriage–all dressed up in a bonnet with ruffles like a halo. Margaret, her mother, is preparing supper and the baby’s bottle is warming on the stove. She eats like a little pig, her tiny jaws working busily. And as she eats she glares at you with her blue eyes which are turning brown, as though to say, “Just you try to take my bottle away from me.” For seven weeks old she is very smart and has already discovered her fists and looks at them in a most cock-eyed way. She doubles them up as though she were preparing for class war, so we get Peter to recite an essay to her now and then about Catholic Action and Bolshevik action, just to start inculcating the true spirit while she’s young.
Several people have condemned us for our article on Rockefeller and his donation to Catholic Charities, and one opponent wrote an article about how the cowardly workers, holding their women and children in front of them, were invading property owned and operated by Mr. Rockefeller to burn and destroy what they could reach. Our opponent says that the “article in The Catholic Worker cannot be too severely condemned.” We went up to the public library, and looking into the files, found there complete stories of the Ludlow murders in forty magazines and in all the newspapers; and the attack occurred on the property of the miners themselves, rented by the union to house the workers in tents since they could no longer live on company property. The Literary Digest had pictures of Ludlow and the men, women and children, and a complete account of the atrocity. It is too bad our antagonists do not inform themselves on the subject before they take the lying statements of enemies of God and His poor as truth.