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The mystical body of Christ in Catherine de Hueck Doherty's Vision for Lay Apostolate - Thesis Proposal Example

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I. Title The Mystical Body of Christ in Catherine de Hueck Doherty’s Vision for Lay Apostolate II. Introduction The key theological theme or themes of Catherine de Huek Doherty’s vision for lay apostolate constitute an important area of inquiry in historical theology…
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Download file to see previous pages Third, Doherty had been a prolific writer and her works continue to influence many people, lay and religious. The lay apostolates she founded, the Madonna House and the Friendship House, continue to publish her writings, articulate her views, venerate her life, and propagate her writings. Finally or fourth, a number of non-famous and famous lay workers—like Dorothy Day—have expressed that they have been inspired by Doherty. Through the identification of the key perspectives espoused by Doherty, it is possible to explore central theological themes or theme through which the lay apostolates of the pre-Vatican II Catholic Action era were built and how the laity implemented the papal encyclicals of pre-Vatican II. Doherty has been known as a refugee from the Russian Revolution who had possessed nothing more than the clothes she was wearing and the deep religious faith she embraced since childhood. She had lived as a Russian Baroness and as a beggar. She avoided death during her escape from the Bolsheviks and walked in the shoes of both the rich and the poor.1 During the 1920s, her first years in the United States and Canada, she made her living in temporary jobs. While working at a department store, she was overheard talking about her experiences as a member of the Russian nobility, and was offered an opportunity to travel and deliver speeches on the subject. Later, after having lived in poverty for many years, she earned back the wealth she held in Russia. However, following her successful years in the Chautauqua circuit,2 she eventually abandoned material possessions and committed herself to a simple life and lay apostolate. Inspired by Rerum novarum, 3Quadragesimo anno,4 and Pope Pius XI’s letters on the subject of Catholic Action,5 she established Friendship House in the slums of Toronto with the goal of forming a non-segregated residential home for the city’s poor. Beginning her initial apostolate, Doherty lived in community with the poor of Canada. In 1936, she set up two more houses in Ottawa and Hamilton, Ontario. By 1938, priests in New York City asked her to open a fourth in Harlem. Eventually, Doherty—through support of the Catholic Interracial Council6—was able to open a Friendship House in Chicago, Illinois (1942).7 Three years after marrying journalist Eddie Doherty,8 she moved to Combermere, Ontario, and together the Dohertys founded in 1947 a second apostolate—the Madonna House. According to Julie Leininger Pycior, Doherty’s Friendship House “…championed living out the Gospels through opposition to racial injustice and solidarity with the poor; at the height of its influence in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Harlem Friendship House served as a pioneering center of Catholic lay activism for social justice.”9 In her early years as a lay founder, she sought to remedy social problems by reaching out to the most impoverished individuals and providing education on Catholic Social Teaching. Her goal was to address both the spiritual and immediate physical needs of those she served, and to encourage others to recognize the dignity of every human being made in the image of God. During the late 1940s and into her Madonna House period, Doherty’s vision of the lay apostolate broadened considerably as she began to view Catholic Action as multidimensional, extending far beyond protests of social injustices: she viewed the lay apostolate as the fruit of an intimate relationship with Christ in the sacraments, particularly the ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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