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Pope Francis, Day would have been 'good friends,' says granddaughter


  • Kate Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day, led two presentations on her new book, "Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother," Feb. 23 at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis. (CNS photo/Sam Lucero, The Compass)
  • This is the cover of "Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother" by Kate Hennessy. (CNS)

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DE PERE, Wis. (CNS) -- Kate Hennessy was at Maryhouse, the Catholic Worker house in New York City founded by her grandmother, Dorothy Day, when Pope Francis gave his address to Congress Sept. 24, 2015.

"I was a little bit late, so I came down to the dining room where they set up a TV," Hennessy told The Compass, newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay. "I sat down and then suddenly he mentions Dorothy Day and I practically fell out of my chair. I was so shocked and surprised."

The pope's exact words were: "I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed were inspired by the Gospel, her faith and the example of the saints."

"That was really an astounding moment when that happened. I did not expect that," said Hennessy, who believes her grandmother would have enjoyed meeting Pope Francis. "I think they would have been good friends."

Hennessy was at St. Norbert College in De Pere Feb. 23 to talk about her newly released book, "Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother." The youngest of Dorothy Day's nine grandchildren, Hennessy was 20 when her grandmother died Nov. 29, 1980.

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