Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement on learning that the Vatican has opened the cause of sainthood for Dorothy Day, now to be called Dorothy Day, Servant of God.

This is a blessed moment for the Church in the United States as we learn that one of its own citizens may one day be held up for veneration by the entire Church.

Dorothy Day, who was born in Manhattan, converted to Catholicism when she was 30 and lived out her commitment with a fierceness that is an example to all.

She devoted her entire life to the poor, especially through the Catholic Worker Movement, which she co-founded with Peter Maurin.

She lived and worked among immigrants in New York City sharing in their struggle to find a decent life in a new land. Today, decades later, Dorothy Day's example is before us, encouraging us to be open to the strangers in our midst. She stands as someone to urge us onward when faced with any hesitancy about embracing the newcomer.

Dorothy Day worked tirelessly for justice, even participating in acts of civil disobedience and going to jail for her principles. Her ability to see Jesus in the weakest of His brothers and sisters and her realization of the call to right injustice should inspire all of us today.

She practiced and preached non-violence. Dorothy Day's example has had far-reaching effects, especially today as weapons of mass destruction call into question justification of war.

Dorothy Day is a model of holiness as a laywoman, mother and journalist. She knew the pain of women in contemporary society, especially those tempted to seek out an abortion. Eight years before she converted to Catholicism, she had an abortion, an action she regretted ever after. That today she is on the road to possible sainthood stands as proof that God's wonderful mercy can reach our hearts with love and forgiveness no matter how we fail.

This is a wonderful day for the Church in the United States.

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