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Dorothy Day Granddaughter Visits

Visiting Lisle to speak at Benedictine University in late September, Martha Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day, took some time to meet and speak with the monastic community of St. Procopius Abbey. Dorothy Day was professed as an oblate of St. Procopius in 1955 (

During her time with the monks, Hennessy talked about her own upbringing (she was baptized but didn’t become serious about her faith until later in life). After working for years as an occupational therapist, Hennessy began working at the MaryHouse Catholic Worker in New York City, and traveling to protest nuclear arms, the usage of military drones, poverty, and war. She has protested for these causes even to the point of spending time in jail for them.

Hennessy also spent time talking to the community about Dorothy Day, and leading a prayer for Dorothy’s canonization process. (Hennessy currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Dorothy Day Guild (, an organization dedicated to advancing her cause for sainthood). While theologically orthodox, Dorothy was politically radical. She described Dorothy’s intense prayer life and devotion to the liturgical life of the Church.

Martha lives with her husband, Steven Melanson (a carpenter and photographer), on a farm in Vermont. The two have been married for 40 years. She is a grandmother of eight.

This was Hennessy's first visit to St. Procopius.


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