“Both/And” is the Catholic way.
Yes, we need “Benedictine” communities and we also need folks who are out in the culture evangelizing it. I think the only problem would be if we adopted the Benedict Option as the sole or exclusive way of being Catholic. Isolation worked for the Desert Fathers. Their isolation produced the great St. Athanasius, who emerged from the Egyptian desert and was instrumental in defeating Arianism. If St. Anthony had not retreated to the hills, there would have been no Desert community and no St. Athanasius. Meanwhile, there were others who were immersed in the culture doing the daily work of evangelization.
The truth is, I think many Catholics need the safety, security and support of a Benedictine-type community. The overwhelming power of the secular culture is just too much for many people to resist if they are always immersed in it. It is relentless; wears people down. They end up being converted by the culture instead of the other way around.
I envision a Benedict Option community as one where I could raise my kids in a supportive and affirming community, where they would be protected from the relentless pressure of the toxic culture while they learn the faith, learn what love is. And where they would be prepared to go forth into the world with eyes wide open ready to bring the world what they know is true, good and beautiful, because they have experienced it.
I also envision a Benedict Option community as a place to which those of us who are out in the world trying to make the New Evangelization a realtity could retreat for at least temporary respite, to find support, lick our wounds, to recharge our batteries, and to find the mutual affirmation of like-minded people so that we can then go forth again carrying the Good News out into a world that seems to hate it (and us).
I also see the potential that Benedict Option communities could be an incredibly powerful piece of the New Evangelization by serving as examples to the world of how a truly Christian society might look. In my view, such communities would be incredibly attractive to the world. The world might just take notice and say “Hey, look how beautiful this community is; we should be doing this everywhere!” Many people don’t realize that wonderful communities were built up around the great mideival monasteries - because people wanted to be near and partake of what was going on.
So, yes, it is all about the New Evangelization. But maybe, just maybe, the Benedict Option is one aspect of that New Evangelization.