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Goldstein, David


Apologist, author; b. London, England, July 27, 1870; d. Boston, Mass., June 30, 1958. He was the son of poor Dutch Jewish parents who were married in London. They brought him to New York City in 1871, where he lived for 17 years attending public school, the Hebrew Free School, and the Spanish Jewish Synagogue, where he studied Hebrew. At the age of 11, Goldstein began work as a cigar maker, following his father's trade. He was allowed to attend the meetings of the Cigar Makers' International Union, with which he became affiliated, and continued his membership for life.

In 1888, the family moved to Boston, where David joined the Socialist Labor Party. He became the party's first candidate for mayor of Boston and one of the seven members of its national board of appeals. Here he met Mrs. Martha Moore Avery, prominent in the Socialist movement, who ultimately influenced him toward Catholic principles. Impressed with Catholic teaching on marriage and divorce, he undertook considerable reading and instruction, which culminated in his baptism in the Immaculate Conception Church, Boston, in 1905.

Goldstein had resigned from the Socialist Party in 1903 (the year Mrs. Avery joined the Church) after eight years of campaigning upon the soapbox and Lecturedebating platform. In 1906 he began, with Mrs. Avery, the first modern lay apostolate to the man in the street, first known as the Catholic Truth Guild (since 1935 Catholic Campaigners for Christ). As the first Catholic layman to devote full time to defending the Church against attack, he spent more than 25 years lecturing across the country.

Among the honors he received were a degree of doctor of literature (1939) from Niagara University, Niagara, N.Y.; the Catholic Action Medal (1946) from St. Bonaventure's College, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.; the Distinguished Service Medal of the Franciscan Order (1947); and Knight of the Order of St. Gregory (1955). He was a columnist for the Boston Pilot (194558), and his other published works include Socialism: The Nation of Fatherless Children, an exposé of false doctrines of Socialism (with Mrs. Avery); Bolshevism: Its Cure (1919); Campaigner for Christ Handbook (1934); and Letters of a Hebrew-Catholic to Mr. Isaacs (1943).

Bibliography: d. goldstein, Autobiography of a Campaigner for Christ (Boston 1936).

[j. lloyd]

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