St. Urban knows Real Community
Six years ago, the fate of this century old church was set, it had become a liability to the Archdiocese and was no longer an asset. It had to be destroyed.
It wasn’t because it wasn’t loved, the community loved it. In fact, a local priest was quoted as saying, “I wish I could win the lotto or something,” and he vowed to continue to pray that the church could be saved.
His prayers were answered. Today, this church is restored. It is beautiful, it is glowing. It is, in all the hushed silence that is worship and church and love, a new creation.
The group that came together to labor with strength and skill of a carpenter, the savvy of a banker, and the intensity of politician up for re-election, did not just create a new foundation for an old church, they created a new foundation for a new community.
“Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the door…” and look at all the people.
Look at all the people that gave their time and energies to save the building. Their names are etched in metal plates tacked to wood and hung artfully in the entryway of this humble church.
But what these signs do not say, is how large their hearts became and how open their love became the day they stood together under one banner, for one cause, and became a community.
Where is your community? Who is your community? What draws you together?
“Do not be small minded. Do not pray for gourds and pumpkins from God, when you should be asking for pure love and pure knowledge to dawn within every heart.” -Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Great Swan by Lex Hixon
The best part about writing for the local paper is not getting my name published in the paper and it certainly isn’t the chore of writing (I face the demon of fear with every story), but it is meeting the communities. Meeting the communities and watching them love each other and cheer each other on and work for each other.
Life is, as Mrs. Goodneedle says, good. Really, really good.
P.S. For more pictures of the St. Urban church, go here.
The following is the end of a blog post from iMonk. It’s all about community, real community. You can go here to read the entire post.
…New Monasticism is a different calling, not a superior one. Right alongside this new monasticism, the church in our day needs a “new vocationalism,” so that we can ALL learn to live as “ordinary radicals” in every possible expression of life, work, setting, and economic situation.
Postscript: The 12 Marks of New Monasticism
The New Monasticism movement had its official birth at at 2004 conference in Durham, NC. Representatives from communities old and new met with academics and worked out a voluntary rule to guide the various societies in their life and ministry. Here are the twelve marks they developed:
- Relocation to the abandoned places of Empire.
- Sharing economic resources with fellow community members and the needy among us.
- Hospitality to the stranger
- Lament for racial divisions within the church and our communities combined with the active pursuit of a just reconciliation.
- Humble submission to Christ’s body, the church.
- Intentional formation in the way of Christ and the rule of the community along the lines of the old novitiate.
- Nurturing common life among members of intentional community.
- Support for celibate singles alongside monogamous married couples and their children.
- Geographical proximity to community members who share a common rule of life.
- Care for the plot of God’s earth given to us along with support of our local economies.
- Peacemaking in the midst of violence and conflict resolution within communities along the lines of Matthew 18.
- Commitment to a disciplined contemplative life.