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January 28, 2020

A Revolution of the Heart

Special Screening of Major Film on Dorothy Day for Young Leaders

Martha Hennessy, Dorothy Day’s granddaughter and activist and Kim Daniels, associate director of the Initiative

Dorothy Day’s compelling faith, call to nonviolence, and care for the poor offer crucial lessons in these difficult days. Her fascinating story, complicated choices, and challenging witness are brought to life in the powerful new film Revolution of the Heart: The Dorothy Day Story by Martin Doblmeier and Journey Films.

Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life was honored to host the Washington premiere of this powerful documentary, including this special screening for young leaders under 40, before it is broadcast in March 2020 on public television. Filmmaker Martin Doblmeier introduced Revolution of the Heart. Following the 60-minute film, Day’s granddaughter; the editor of her diaries; a leader in her cause for sainthood; and a writer and emerging Christian leader reflected on the continuing relevance of Dorothy’s life, faith, and witness.


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Martha Hennessy is Dorothy Day’s granddaughter who carries on Dorothy’s work as an activist, protesting war, nuclear weapons, the use of drones, and torture. She is awaiting sentencing for her participation in a Plowshares action at a naval base in Georgia. She has traveled to Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, and Russia. In the film, she speaks about her grandmother’s love of both her family and those who are poor.

Robert Ellsberg is the editor-in-chief and publisher of Orbis Books. He is also the editor of the published diaries and letters of Dorothy Day. He left Harvard University in 1975 to join the Catholic Worker. In the film, he discusses his time as editor of the Catholic Worker and his work with Dorothy Day in the last five years of her life.

Carolyn Zablotny is the editor of the Dorothy Day Guild's newsletter, In Our Time, and the content editor for the Guild’s website. She will address the process and progress of efforts to have Dorothy Day declared a saint by the Catholic Church.

Anne Snyder (G’14) is the editor-in-chief of Comment magazine, where she has written on Dorothy's legacy; she is also a senior fellow at The Trinity Forum, a 2020 Emerson Fellow, and the author of The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver's Guide to Supporting Social and Moral Renewal, published by The Philanthropy Roundtable in 2019.

Martin Doblmeier is the president and founder of Journey Films and has produced and directed award-winning films on Jean Vanier, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Howard Thurman, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. He will introduce the film and join the panel in responding to questions.

Dr. Kelly Otter, the dean of Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, will open the gathering. Kim Daniels, the associate director of the Initiative, will moderate the conversation.

After the film and discussion, there was a reception with time for people to share with others Dorothy Day’s continuing legacy and how her example has shaped their lives.

This Salt and Light Gathering was for Catholics under 40 years old in Washington to help them explore links between faith, Catholic social thought, and their lives and work and was co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.