Fireworks and a Full House
Benincasa Community Newsletter - Volume 1.1
We started 2016 with a bang - fireworks, in fact - set off in Central Park and viewed from our roof at midnight while Jim played Auld Lang Syne on the guitar. We gathered with friends so old they’re family and new acquaintances now friends. All remarked—once again—how Benincasa Community burst into bloom in such a short time. In the days that followed, more friends and family visited us, and we travelled to Sparkill to attend the Dominican Sisters’ Epiphany Mass and celebratory brunch. We were so well fed with song and joy and omelets (to say the very least about the day); our many thanks to the Sisters! Shortly after, a cold front blew into town and brought with it ten Xavier University students on “alternative break”. They lived at Benincasa for a week and conducted themselves as seekers in the City, exploring neighborhoods and probing their own sensibilities and prejudices. It was with this same spirit that they abided one frigid night here without heat. Our poor 100+ year-old building groaned a bit that week from the icy temperatures and 16+ occupants. We chased leaks with 5 gallon pails and tried to keep calm and carry on. William Howard, a talented Xavier student, made a video clip about his experience (See it below!). It was exciting to share with the students our “Sounds of Action” concert! Eli Smith and Hudson Valley Sally brought tears to our eyes as they honored the generations prior who fought for the dignity of others. The following week Benincasa Community members walked in the Upper West Side Interfaith Peace March on MLK Day. Alandra and Julie travelled to Michigan for mid-year retreat and reconnected with other Dominican Volunteers engaged in a year of service across the country. As January came to a close we welcomed Kayla—a friend of the Catholic Worker in Iowa—and six people (including Sr. Pat Daly) from the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) in town for critical meetings about climate change. Along with of all these comings-and-goings, our Thompson St Feast community mourned the loss of Rico Raulli, SJ and celebrated with great joy the arrival of babies Theo and Daniel. Our Catholic Worker family also celebrated the arrival of Penelope Day and Gabrielle Rae. As our world turned and our front door swung open and close, we kept up with our regular work – the Sunday Soup Kitchen and preparation for our partnership with the Dominican Sisters’ farm in Goshen, NY. We are raising funds now to cover the costs of delivering organic vegetables to our parish and Soup Kitchen/Food Pantry this spring.
Lenten Prayer Service
Please join us February 27 or March 12 for a Lenten prayer service at Benincasa. We are learning to align ourselves with all of creation by exploring God's grandeur in the Universe. Come join us for a cosmic walk, reflection, and light lunch from 11am to 1pm.
April Work Day
On April 30 beginning at 9am, we invite you to join us for a day of restoration, community, and spring time recovery as we complete work and repairs throughout Benincasa. We believe everyone has something beautiful to offer and welcome all skill and interest levels. See you then!
Watch William's video about Xavier University's Alternative Break in NYC (and at Benincasa)
NB: Fordham University is currently representing Benincasa in the incorporation process, and we hope to have our own 501(c)3 status within the year.