Tag Archives: history

Catherine and Thomas Merton

Photo of Thomas Merton by John Howard Griffin, used on his funeral card.

Photo of Thomas Merton by John Howard Griffin, used on his funeral card.One aspect of Catherine Doherty’s life of Gospel intensity concerns how she inspired others to love the Lord. Such influence is another indication of the love of God present in, and working through, her. It is my conviction that she had such an influence on Thomas Merton.

Catherine, Fr. Paul and Mother Lurana of Graymoor

I had known that Fr. Paul Watson and Mother Lurana White were significant people in Catherine Doherty’s life. What I hadn’t realized was the depth of their influence. For her to say that her followers of both Friendship House and Madonna House are children of these two great people, and that without their influence we would not be in existence, well, these words opened up a new window for me onto the mystery of Catherine’s spirit.

Catherine and Dorothy Day

Catherine Doherty recieves a kiss from Dorothy Day at the Lay Congress in Rome, Fall 1957.

Catherine Doherty recieves a kiss from Dorothy Day at the Lay Congress in Rome, Fall 1957.One of the great contemporary adventures that unfortunately is not narrated is the friendship of these two great women, Catherine Doherty and Dorothy Day. They were raised up by the Holy Spirit at the same historical moment in the Church of North America. They were almost mirror images of one another: totally loyal Catholics, serving the poor, conditioned by the great depression, women of prayer, dedicated to the Church, founders of movements that continue to this day.

20th Anniversary of Catherine’s Falling Asleep in the Lord

Catherine Doherty's Funeral Mass at Holy Canadian Martyrs Church in Combermere.

Catherine Doherty's Funeral Mass at Holy Canadian Martyrs Church in Combermere.The following realization came to me in prayer in the poustinia: I bet not many people have ever read the eye-witness account of Catherine’s death by the two community members who were actually with her that night. As you will read in their accounts, they were indeed very blessed and privileged to be the ones chosen by our Lord and our Lady of Combermere to be there.

The Pastoral Relevance of Catherine’s Cause

George stands with Catherine after she is made a member of the Order of Canada “for a lifetime of devoted services to the underpriviliged of many nationalities both in Canada and abroad.”

George stands with Catherine after she is made a member of the Order of Canada “for a lifetime of devoted services to the underpriviliged of many nationalities both in Canada and abroad.”One of the questions I have been asking people is: “If Catherine was canonized, what would be the significance of her life for the Church today?” We have received many responses to this and other questions from Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Religious and Laity. What follows is my brief summary of some of the main replies to this question which highlight the pastoral relevance of her Cause in the minds of those who knew her or about her.