Catherine de Hueck Doherty—currently Servant of God in the process of beatification and canonization—was a pioneer in the tradition of Catholic social thought and practice in North America. In the decades leading up to the Second Vatican Council, she experimented with a radical Catholic Action movement that was simultaneously independent of and joined to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. In so doing, she explored the growing end of the pre-Vatican II Catholic radical movement. With Dorothy Day and Father Paul Hanly Furfey, among others, she sought to clarify the technique of radical Catholic Action. She identified a multiplicity of radical Catholic Action models and articulated a path to sanctity for the layperson. Ultimately, she pushed the boundaries of radical Catholic Action through her desire to escape to the “fetid slums.” Her overall experimentation with radical Catholic Action drew both support and resistance. Catholic bishops, priests, and laypeople offered varying assessments of de Hueck, who, as a lay woman, challenged the status quo on race, ethnicity, and economic disparity.


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pp. 71-100
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