At the same time she insisted that those engaged in social action be rooted in prayer and that they incarnate their faith into every aspect of ordinary life. Catherine was a bridge between the Christian East and West. Baptized Orthodox and later becoming Roman Catholic, her spiritual heritage drew upon both of these traditions. Catherine Kolyschkine was born in Nizhny-Novgorod, Russia, on August 15, to wealthy and deeply Christian parents.
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At 15, she was married to her cousin, Baron Boris de Hueck, an arranged marriage. During World War I, they both served in the army, he an officer and she a nurse. She was decorated for bravery under fire. As Russia collapsed, the couple returned to St. Raised Orthodox, she had been taught by Catholic nuns at an early age. From there, she and Boris made their way to Canada, where the two would eventually divorce. In New York, she sought work, not a cause. A lecture bureau asked her to speak on pre-revolutionary Russia for a handsome salary, which she agreed to do.
One night, while dancing with this man, I heard laughter, a very gentle and kind laughter. Some new phase of my life was about to begin. She began her new work in Canada and then came back to New York. Two things shocked her: the extent of white racism, and the living conditions in Harlem. We study American history. In , Catherine founded Friendship House, an interracial apostolate dedicated to fighting segregation. One volunteer recalled: White people, black people—talking, laughing, friendly, sipping coffee.
Advocating civil rights in America, she discovered, could be as deadly as revolutionary Russia. I tried to preach it without compromise. We will appear before God for judgment. What are you trying to do? Make them think they are loved just because they have become Catholics? Stop it! If he orders me to stop, I will stop. On the way out he slammed the door and smashed the glass in the window.
Wherever she worked, Baroness Catherine de Hueck Doherty sought to actualize the Gospel message in the present moment. The Good News is for now.
Catherine Doherty Quotes
At 15, she was married to her cousin, Baron Boris de Hueck, an arranged marriage. During World War I, they both served in the army, he an officer and she a nurse. She was decorated for bravery under fire. As Russia collapsed, the couple returned to St. Raised Orthodox, she had been taught by Catholic nuns at an early age. From there, she and Boris made their way to Canada, where the two would eventually divorce.
Cause for Canonization
Her parents, Fyodor and Emma Thomson Kolyschkine, belonged to the minor nobility and were devout members of the Russian Orthodox Church who had their child baptized in St. Petersburg on September 15, She was not baptized on the same day that she was born because her mother was worried she might get a disease as she had been born on a train. Petersburg in , where she was enrolled in the prestigious Princess Obolensky Academy. In , aged 15, she married her first cousin, Boris de Hueck — On her return to St. Petersburg, she and Boris barely escaped the turmoil of the Russian Revolution with their lives, nearly starving to death as refugees in Finland.
The Baroness and the Gospel: Catherine de Hueck Doherty