How alive this time of year can make us feel! The space between the seasons is often complex and crafty. One day we bask in bright light as spring enfolds us with warmth and nourishment only to be surprised when a flurry returns in the middle of March. The weather invites us to yield and let our winter wares diminish as we wander back into the sunlight.
This last month saw the return of Benincasa’s dear friend and resident Sounds of Action co-curator, Zack Nestel-Patt! We are so pleased to also welcome Tasha, Florence, and Kayla to our community, bringing our number to 11 in residence (plus Dominic!). This new arrangement has tremendously increased the life and vitality of the house as seen during prayer, community meals, house meetings, study of the cosmos and climate change, and in the fruitful and inspiring conversations had around the kitchen table.
Even as our in-house community grows, we continue to expand our network of friends. More than a dozen people attended our final Lenten Liturgy as we reflected on the new cosmology and our faith in this season of radical love. In addition, from March 12-16 we communed with and hosted four astonishing students from Albertus Magnus College for an alternative break trip in NYC. Erica, Sha, Emily, Esther, and their campus minister Deacon John participated in every aspect of community life at Benincasa by cooking, cleaning, praying, working at the Soup Kitchen, visiting Sparkill (a Dominican motherhouse) and even joining many of us at work (i.e. a shelter for women and children and a high school in the Bronx, art museums and sites of cultural significance in Manhattan, and the United Nations during the 2016 Commission on the Status of Women). We appreciated their openness, curiosity, and passion during the visit and look forward to learning more about the significant work these women will do in the future!
In March we also successfully organized parishioners of Blessed Sacrament Parish to join the Dominican Sisters’ Community SupportedAgriculture (CSA) at Harmony Farm. Twenty four families plus our Soup Kitchen guests will receive fresh, organic food from the Sister’s farm for the next seven months! We are still fundraising for a refrigerated van and hope that our first ever (and only) (unofficial) Dog Race in Central Park on April 7th will help with this expense. In fact, because of our connection to Harmony Farm, we have decided to expand the Soup Kitchen. Whereas the Soup Kitchen in years past was closed during the hot summer months, we will keep it open and serve cold salads and fresh veggies throughout the season.
And finally, we hope you join us for the events listed below. Together, our community will continue to grow through mindfulness and bonds of love.