Martha Hennessy, granddaughter of candidate for Catholic sainthood, to speak at Benedictine University

  • Martha Hennessy, Catholic activist

    Martha Hennessy, Catholic activist

Updated 9/26/2022 11:29 AM

On Sept. 27-28, Martha Hennessy, Catholic activist and granddaughter of Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day, will speak at Benedictine University at 7 p.m. each night.

The Sept. 27 program will take place in the auditorium of the Daniel L. Goodwin Hall of Business, 5700 College Road in Lisle. It will feature a screening of Martin Doblmeier's 2020 documentary "Revolution of the Heart: The Dorothy Day Story," followed by a live interview with Hennessy. This event is open to the public without need to register.


The Sept. 28 program will take place in Room 321 of the Daniel L. Goodwin Hall of Business. It will feature a lecture by Hennessy titled "My Journey to Catholic Radicalism." The Sept. 28 event is open to the public but requires pre-registration at The Sept. 28 event is also available via Zoom at

"We are deeply honored to welcome Martha Hennessy to Benedictine, a place dear to her grandmother's heart," says Dr. Peter Huff, Chief Mission Officer and Director of the Center for Benedictine Values. "Hennessy is a living testimony to the power of Catholic social teaching and the countercultural message of Jesus."

A retired occupational therapist, Hennessy divides her time between her family farm in Vermont and practicing the works of mercy at Maryhouse Catholic Worker in New York City. She has traveled to Russia, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Korea, and Palestine and has been imprisoned for protesting nuclear weapons, drone warfare, and the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo.

Hennessy is the seventh grandchild of Dorothy Day (1897-1980), founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, a Benedictine Oblate associated with St. Procopius Abbey, and a candidate for sainthood in the Catholic Church. Day's autobiography "The Long Loneliness" is now recognized as one of the world's great spiritual classics. Historian David J. O'Brien has called Day "the most important, interesting, and influential figure in the history of American Catholicism."

Martha Hennessy's appearance at Benedictine is sponsored by the University's Center for Benedictine Values.

For more information, contact Dr. Peter Huff at (630) 829-6664 or

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