Dorothy Day speaks in Melbourne 1970

Dr Val Noone – author

My friend, Dr Val Noone,  has just published a book entitled Dorothy Day in Australia to coincide with the 50th anniversary of her once only visit in 1970. To mark this occasion I am, on his behalf,  releasing an audio recording of Dorothy’s speech at the Public Lecture Theatre, University of Melbourne, on 16 August , 1970

Dorothy Day (1897-1980) was the co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. She led a wild and bohemian lifestyle in her younger years. A journalist and a Labour radical, she converted to Catholicism in her thirties, opening a House of Hospitality on the lower east side of Manhattan, New York.  Dorothy founded a newspaper called the Catholic Worker which combined traditional Catholicism with advanced social ideals. Fuller information available on the web e.g. her Wikipedia entry under “Dorothy Day”.

Dorothy Day 1970

Dorothy was one of the most interesting and puzzling figures in the history of 20th Century Catholicism, and of American dissent. She has had a small but definite effect on Australian Catholic culture to this day.

The following recording gives a rare and precious insight into her personality and mission. (There are some difficulties in the early minutes of the tape.)

ORDER FORM for the Dorothy Day Book

5 thoughts on “Dorothy Day speaks in Melbourne 1970

  1. This is fantastic Congratulations Val! I have frequently asked progressive Catholics why more hasn’t been written about the Catholic Movement in Australia – remembering the days of the “Retrieval Magazine”which was mostly produced by progressive Catholics and wuth your good self as editor. In 1970 I was living in Sydney and I attended a huge public meeting to hear Dorothy Day and Jim Cairns speak and what a great inspiration it was I also knew Roger Pryke and through him learned about the Berrigan Brothers in the US and their great contribution to the peace movement agaunst the US war in Indochina..I came from a Methodist background in SA where there was a tradition of Christian socialism – largely thanks to the Welsh and Cornish miners who came to SA to work in the Copper Triangle on Yorke Peninsula. These miners had a profound effect on the early union movement in SA and also the Socialist Stump at the Speakers’ Corner at Botanic Park. One Primitive Methodist minister used to speak here in the late 19th century and every May would lead the singing of the “Internationale” and “The Red Flag”.Don Dunstan – although an Anglican – attended a Methodist Church when he lived in Fiji and according to his daughter, he was very inspired by the Christian socialist tradition. This was also true of Tom Price – the first United Labour Party premier of SA Price was Welsh and believed that there should be inter Celtic solidarity between the Scots, Irish and Welsh and was a good friend of the Adelaide Catholic Archbishop of the day Archbishop Reynolds who was a frequent visitor at the Price home. I am involved with the Labour History Society in SA which has taken a great interest in the history I have mentioned. It would be great if you could come and address a meeting of the Society after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. I am sure that many would purchase copies of your book. Cathy and I send warm greetings to you and Mary and look forward to reading your book.

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