Selected with an Introduction by David Meconi, S.J.
Catherine de Hueck Doherty (1896-1985), a Russian-born aristocrat who has recently been proposed for canonization, emigrated to North America, dedicated her life to promoting “the gospel without compromise.” Her vision combined a deep spirituality with a commitment to social justice. One of her early projects was the Harlem-based Friendship House, which attracted a young Thomas Merton. Later, with her second husband, Eddie Doherty, she established Madonna House in Combermere, Ontario. Though Roman Catholic, Catherine drew on her Russian roots and helped popularize the concept of poustinia (the Russian word for desert) a place where a person meets God through solitude, prayer, and fasting.
These writings, drawn from 25 books, highlight her distinctive spirituality, with its emphasis on the presence of God, the practice of prayer, a love for the church, and a deep apprehension of the social dimension of the gospel.
About the Author, Catherine Doherty
Catherine Doherty used her heritage as a Russian Christian as a matrix for responding to the needs of Christian life and work in the modern world. Her own personal pilgrimage led her to be “poor with the poor Christ” in the slums of Toronto and in Harlem; and later to the establishing of the world-wide Madonna House Apostolate. A dedicated wife and mother, Catherine was also a prolific writer of hundreds of articles, a best-selling author of dozens of books, a renowned national speaker, and a pioneer of social justice. Catherine Doherty’s cause for canonization as a saint is now under consideration by the Catholic Church.