Kate Hennessy tour sparks collaboration in Iowa City Catholic organizations


By Elizabeth M. Starr
For The Catholic Messenger
IOWA CITY —The University of Iowa Newman Catholic Student Center, Tau Omega and Catholic Worker House are hosting an event featuring Kate Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day and author of “Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty.”
The event will be held Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Newman Catholic Student Center and is open to the public.

This is the cover of Kate Hennessy’s book, “Dorothy Day: The World Will be Saved by Beauty.”

Hennessey will go deeper into the life of her grandmother, Dorothy Day, a woman who devoted her life to service in the Catholic Church. Laurie Harris, the Newman Center’s business manager, said the church is open to Day’s possible canonization.
Harris explained why the three Iowa City organizations look forward to hosting Hennessy and what her grandmother meant to the church. “Dorothy Day’s actions responded to the needs of the times and were inspired by the Gospel. I am looking forward to hearing an authentic account of the life of Dorothy Day from the point of view of someone who knew her well.”
Jackie Brown, vice president of Tau Omega and intern at Catholic Worker House, said the event began on a whim through connections between Catholic Worker House and Kate Hennessy. The whim developed into something much bigger, and the event grew from a one-night event to a week-long, state-wide tour. After Iowa City, Hennessy will also speak in Davenport, Waterloo, Ames and Ankeny.
“Through God’s will this happened,” Brown said. “This event is encompassing more than just our community, (it is) reaching out to the whole state.”
Hennessy is also reaching out to impact the entire community, not only the Catholic community. She will speak at Prairie Lights bookstore in downtown Iowa City at noon on Sept. 26. This event is open to the public and will include her reading from her book and signing books.
Harris shared her excitement over the collaboration among Catholic Worker House, the Newman Catholic Student Center and Tau Omega, as well as the public in supporting Hennessey’s visit.
“Events like this help shape young adults who are inspired to live their faith in the diverse communities in which they live,” Harris said. Collaboration “with the Catholic Worker House, which delivers the works of mercy, and Tau Omega, which strengthens the faith of members through service, makes a great unified team.”
Tau Omega President Steven Landa also spoke of the collaboration. “We work with Catholic Worker House and Newman (Catholic Student Center) regularly … (we are) getting out and being more involved in the community. People are really inspired by Dorothy Day. Reaching out to people who are looking (to serve) is something Tau Omega is trying to do.”
In addition to her appearance in Iowa City, Hennessy will speak at Christ the King Chapel at St. Ambrose University in Davenport Sept. 27 from 6:30-8 p.m.
(Elizabeth M. Starr is a student in journalism and mass communications at the University of Iowa and Faith Formation chair for Tau Omega.)

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