Graces of Abundance and Diversity - June/July 2019 Newsletter
A time for courage, a time for faith. These are the messages we hear in Acts and the Gospels, the messages feeding our community this Easter season. Members from Red Eclesial PanAmazonica (REPAM) and Conselho Indigenista Missionário (CIMI) exemplified both courage and faith during their stay with us in mid-April. Traveling from the Brazilian Amazon, indigineous leaders gave testimony at the United Nations about the violence faced by earth and people in their communities. Their kindness, laughter, and joy was fun to share during our meals, even as we navigated four different languages being spoken! We also experienced joy in breaking bread with students from Walsh University’s global studies program, who came from North Canton, OH to explore the various layers of our beautiful and complex city. It seems building community has followed a similar formula since the time of Acts, gather at table and share some food!
Our friends always bring us courage, too, as did Jesus with his friends when he visited them on the shore after his resurrection. Tanya, Matt and their adorable and growing boys Luke and Xaiver visited us, as did our dear friend Clare and baby Sylvia. Baby Mina, of Karen’s former law co-conspirator Jay and her husband Thomas, also visited New York bringing Karen, now 7 months pregnant, courage and faith for her labor and the days to follow. On Easter Monday, Catholic Workers vigiled at the UN for an end to the war in Yemen that rages on and starves countless children. What faith we find in the smile of our friend’s children, for the new and precious spirit they bring to this world. And what faith we find in our friends who stand with other children, children starving, as we collectively yearn for a better world for all of them.
Another beloved companion, Steph, graduated from Union Theological Seminary and received the Charles Augustus Briggs Award for her commitment and faithfulness in her studies and her years of organizing, including her current work with Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. We were excited to meet and celebrate with her family, and have time to affirm and pray over Steph in gratitude for the gift she is to the many communities she calls home. Equipped with this degree, we can’t wait to see how she continues to bring the love and radical justice of God into this world!
It is also a time for us to have courage and faith, as our lease is coming to an end at 133 W 70th Street in July of 2020. The Church has informed us of their intention to sell the property, thus we will not have an option to renew. While we feel saddened to move on from our current home, we do feel called to continue the work and ministry of Benincasa in closer proximity to our true home, our sacred earth. We are looking for a few acres of land and a space to live, north of NYC, and within 75 miles (we don’t want to go too far!). We are in conversation with communities in the area, and appreciate your prayers and support as we begin a year of transition and evolution. If you know of anyone who might be able to aid us in the search, please reach out to us directly. God always calls us to this growth, we have faith in being led.
And finally, this July 13th we will celebrate someone who exemplified courage and faith throughout her life, Mary Magdalene, in a feast day celebration that will begin at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus. We invite you to join us for a day as joyful as Mary’s message to the Apostles of the resurrection. Our friend and Mary Magdalene researcher, Rita Houlihan, will give a lecture, examining how Mary’s story has been distorted, and uncovering MM’s true gift to our faith as the Apostle to the Apostles. After, Sr. Judith Kubicki will lead us in a liturgy of song and prayer. Then, we will process prayerfully, carrying art of Mary Magdalene up 10 blocks to Benincasa for fellowship over hotdogs. Come one, come all! Along with being a day full of celebration, reflection, and communal fun, this event will provide vital support for our community as we enter our final year on the UWS. Please spread the word, as Mary did. (See below for more information and details!)
May faith and courage be with you, and thank you for the many ways you share it with us and others.