“Now I was to have a solitary taste of the injustice, or the ugliness of men’s justice, which set me more squarely on the side of the revolution.”
Dorothy Day, The Long Loneliness
Hello, and welcome to my blog.
My name is Janan Badier and I am a junior majoring in English and History at Loyola University Chicago. For the next academic year I will be studying the legacy of Dorothy Day– including her revolutionary ideas and commitment to the downtrodden– in great detail. Prior to enrolling in the Ramonat seminar the name Dorothy Day was unfamiliar to me and I had little experience with blog writing and studying Catholicism and labor politics. However, having read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair I was aware of the terrible conditions faced by many laborers in urban America. By taking this course I hope to learn more about labor movements and the importance of investigative journalism in raising awareness about social justice issues.
I also hope to forge a career path dedicated to social justice and bringing about positive change in my community. As of now, I am considering law and grad school as my next step after graduating from Loyola. While weighing the pros and cons of each (and nearly worrying myself to death) I have made exploring possible avenues for social justice activism as a lawyer and educator one of my top priorities. The emphasis placed on social justice in this course, as well as Day’s impressive record of serving the poor, have led me to research several organizations dedicated to social justice in Chicago. One such organization, St. Thomas of Canterbury, is a food pantry and soup kitchen with close ties to Loyola. Located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, St. Thomas of Canterbury is a parish that serves the poor and also provides religious services. The parish, established in 1916, welcomes about four hundred worshipers every Sunday and caters to a wide demographic of Catholics by celebrating the sacraments in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Laotian. St. Thomas also serves between ninety and one hundred fifty individuals every Tuesday and Friday through its soup kitchen and provides relief to local households through its food pantry. In the case of emergencies, the food pantry also serves individuals who do not reside nearby.
Although I have considered volunteering at the soup kitchen in the past, class and extracurriculars have conflicted with volunteering times. However, this semester I plan on committing myself to volunteering there on a regular basis. Instead of waiting for some point in the distant future when I have a degree or two to begin serving my community, I hope to make service an integral part of my life starting from today.
While I may not be very familiar with Catholic teachings, labor politics, and twentieth century class struggles, I hope sharing my experience engaging with this material will provide a reflective outlet for myself as well as readers of my blog. I am excited to start grappling with important questions faced by revolutionaries in Day’s age as well as today, which involve contemplating the roots of social injustice. By studying Day’s autobiography, The Long Loneliness, I also hope to learn more about Day’s perseverance and ability to find beauty despite oppression and misery. I look forward to learning from your perspectives, hopefully I won’t send too many typos your way.
Until next time,