If you could, would you live in a Catholic commune/intentional community? Yes, no, maybe…share your thoughts, please.
we did this early in our married life, lasted less than a year because some of the other families (all college friends of ours) abandoned Catholic belief and practice, and reneged on their communal responsibilities.
I absolutely would! I’ve done some research into “intentional communities” but some of them are nothing more than “members only” neighborhoods designed and sold at full market price by developers. That ain’t what I’m looking for!
Gosh, I wonder what could be created by a group of committed community-loving Catholics? I look for an example to something like “The Farm” in Tennessee, which includes community meals, work, and child rearing, only Catholic. As the mother of a small child, I would want a community which supports and loves children for what they are and will be. In other words, I wouldn’t want a place that is monastic in nature. Been there, done that.
Interesting and beautiful idea. Let’s keep the conversation going and see what we can create!
:gopray: I’m praying for the guidance and blessing of the Holy Family on our intentions and hopes.
No, as I don’t see us fitting into one. DH isn’t Catholic, we’re infertile so no kiddos unless we adopt, and I work outside of the home.
Actually, there are several in place. Some are for traditionalists, some for ‘back to the farm’ types, etc. I would love to join some I’ve heard of, others…not so much. Depends on how it would be set up, what level of ‘communal’ we are talking about, etc. Some are simply gatherings of likeminded people who want to live near others with the same beliefs. I would LOVE to be in one of those!
KnowThe concept was attractive before and still is for some reason but many communities have had problems.
Perhaps I shouldn’t say anything because I have never visited one. However, I have known people who were loosely affiliated with one, and heard a fair amount about it. Frankly, I came away unpersuaded that communal life and family life are quite consistent. A family is a “commune” all its own. Each family has its own peculiar character and “mini-institutions”, and I think the development of a “family culture” is important. I have become convinced that each family forms a culture that contains thousands of elements of cultural backgrounds of both parents; some elements perhaps being hundreds of years old, but unrecognized as such. My wife, children and I have identified dozens of them. A commune, as I understand it, is a kind of “uniculture”, and I think they absorb the energies that should go into family formation and culture.
Having said that, I think they’re just fine for single people who want to live that life; perhaps for married couples without children.
No, I would not. I love being among a community of believers, but that is why I go to mass regularly, and participate in a number of church activities; and have many friends who are believers.
However, I also feel that it is important to be part of the whole community, because I think that Christ wants to work through us to reach others who are not believers. We can’t reach out to them if we’re not around them. All nonbelievers need to be able to see and be near believers so that they can have the opportunity to reach out to us, and us to them, in their search for Christ.
I agree that the structure is essential. What I’ve seen ranges from monastic life (Little Portion in Arkansas) to social justice action communities. I’m not looking to leave the world (been there), but rather join financial forces with others to create a community that is contrary to the ways of the world. Personally, I believe that our country’s focus on independence is contrary to the Gospel.
How can I justify me going home to a million dollar house (I don’t) while the person next to me in the pew goes home to a rented trailer with no way of buying groceries in the next week? Sure, I can make donations of time and money to local charities that help people. But I can also be part of a community that is created for the sustenance of all.
I have a job that I love, that makes a difference, that I have no intention of leaving. But what if my income could not only provide for my own family but also provide for others in a direct and immediate manner? I don’t think that “planned communities” or “cohousing” that requires families to be able to afford homes at market value, or just below it (there are MANY of these), is a witness to Christ, but rather indicates a developer who knows how to market his product.
As I’m writing this, I’m seeing that there is actually a desire growing within me to make a difference in the world through a community witness such as this. I’m certainly going to bring this to prayer and see where God leads. Please keep me in your prayers as well.
That is what I’m talking about. A real ‘community’ atmosphere. The one I’m interested in is in Michigan, and the people there all own their own little ‘homestead’ and just live in close proximity. There is no communal ownership of property. But each family helps the others in whatever way they can. If one is good at gardening, they teach others to do it, and share their bountiful harvest. If one is good at mechanical things, they help others keep the cars and tractors running. If one is skilled at construction, they help with barnraising and house building. If one is sick, others take care of their kids, bring meals, whatever is needed. It’s a true Christian community, like you hear about in the book of Acts, where believers shared with one another and helped each other in times of need.
The originator of this community peeks in here occasionally…Meg, if you’re out there, I’ll let you give more details! Otherwise home-n-stead.com/ should get you to their homepage.
As for Little Portion, that would be perfect…if we didn’t have kids! Maybe when they’re all grown and gone DH and I can retire there!
Ridgerunner, thanks for bringing this up. It got me thinking about my little boy.
The culture I want to create for him is one that is a witness to the family of GOD, not just his own parents, and ancestors. I understand that how we do everything we do – from prayers to laundry to daycare to shopping – creates a culture for him.
Living in community teaches him that every person God ever created is his brother, his sister, his family, that we are responsible for each other’s well-being. Living separately and financially independent of each other only teaches my child that essentially we are all on our own, and maybe even that we are no different from non-believers.
Look, this is just my own humble opinion, and I acknowledge that I am constantly growing and stumbling as a parent. But I’m beginning to see that some kind of communal living is essential for how I want to raise my son. It may just be having his grandparents live with us (they have no intention of moving right now) or renting a house with another family, or if God grants us the money to purchase our own home, renting out a room or rooms to local students, single moms, etc.
Incidentally, I lived in a Catholic commune for two years - it was the Abbey of St. Walburga! (now in Virginia Dale, Colorado) That was definitely a place for singles only!
See Teakafrog’s post above for the link to Home-n-stead. Their practice is that anyone who loves God is welcome in their community.
As for not having children and working outside the home, I don’t immediately see why that should preclude anyone from being part of a community, if they WANT to belong to a community. As I stated above, I would love to live in community, but I have no intention of leaving my job at this time, if for no other reason than because I have debts to pay.:o
What’ s the guys name who founded Dominos Pizza? Anyway, I think he is building an actual Catholic town somewhere in S. Florida …
Ave Maria, Florida is the town.
Lots of folks are looking for Catholic communities in which to live. There is a Catholic farm community being formed up in Michigan.
In Oklahoma there is a monastery in Cherokee county and folks are thinking about settling around it to build a Catholic community.
Check on line for
As for communes…been there, done that, threw away the t-shirt.
South Florida?? :eek: Is it a penitential community??
Because some folks are absolutely sold on people not working outside the home if they have children.
And a lot of communities have standards and rules about living in them even if they live in independent homes. If you don’t choose to accept those community rules it makes it hard to be part of the community.
Living with people in an “intentional” community requires much more discipline and sacrifice than living in a close knit, highly interactive neighborhood.
I would love to live in a Catholic community as well. But my definition of one may not be yours at all. So for now I will stay at my job, in my huge parish Church, in my non-Catholic neighborhood with it’s home owners association rules. Not exactly what I had in mind…
The small village to which I am moving in México is ipso facto a Catholic commune, with approximately 300 residents who look out for the common good: the men catch the fish and the women prepare huge pots of fish soup, for example. The nearest protestant churches (all small) are many miles away, JWs and LDS visit but just depart frustrated:D .
A downside sometimes develops when the young leave and are not prepared for anti-Catholic onslaught of propaganda.
I agree whole heartedly…
Christ didn’t tell the apostles to keep to themselves…
How are we suppossed to share the Good News if we isolate ourselves?
I understand the concept if a single person were looking to join the cloistered religious life… to dedicate their lives to prayer…
But an isolated community? I just don’t get that…