Category Archives: Doing Public Theology

A Call to Intentional Community?

I’ve had a question that has been central in my mind since one of our first class periods. We read the autobiography of Dorothy Day, which is called The Long Lonliness. Dorothy Day was part of starting the Catholic Worker Movement, which comes out of Catholic Social Teaching. While I enjoyed and learned from conversation with my classmates about Day’s main arguments and her theology, I left class with a burning question, not fit for the classroom. This question burned even hotter when later in that week I had conversations with two friends, both of whom have lived in Catholic Worker communities.

That question is: what do we do now? What are we to do, now that we have read this autobiography? What do we think about this call? I so strongly hear a call to live in a community similar to those of which Day speaks- perhaps a Catholic Worker, or perhaps another sort of faith-based intentional community, grounded in a belief in the work of social justice. But is this realistic? Intentional communities, in my experience, are hard work. The introvert and the exhausted graduate student inside of me groan at this thought. I remember my (non-Catholic) parents telling me that before I was born, they participated in civil disobedience with a Catholic Worker community. Perhaps this is where this pull that I feel originates?

I don’t know what I do with this. I do know that I have passionate people around me who have thoughts, and I would love to hear them. I can think of many who might have enlightening thoughts or further questions. What do you do with this? What am I to do now?

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