Monday, September 04, 2006

Dinner at the Catholic Worker House

Although perhaps first I should answer the question "where the hell have you been?!?" that a few of you have been kind enough to ask...

Answer: Out. Busy.

Ah, that's my inner teenager talking. It's never too late to have a rebellious adolescence.

The short of it is that we are in a new location, and I have been doing some new things. At some point I may write about this, but not now. Tonight, this is what I want to talk about:

For the past several years, we have tried to invite the poor to be a part of our lives, and we have found various ways of doing so in a couple of different locations, both rural and urban. As I said to my son today, I think religion goes bad when it grows far from the poor. But in our new location, we have not yet found a way to do this. We currently are living in an overly residential location with little or no sense of connectedness or community. We have found some opportunities to volunteer our time, but not a niche. Not a commitment.

So tonight it was food for the soul for us to go to the local Catholic Worker House and share a potluck vegetarian meal with people who define their ministry as one of "hospitality and resistance." We ate together, and talked about what we are doing and what we would like to be doing. We agreed to come back for the potluck next month. And we are looking at the possibility of being "house-parents" from time to time, coming over to the house to cook dinner, talk with the guests, and give members of the core staff a night off.

As the she-guerilla put it, "we found our tribe."

I think many of us are looking for precisely this. We are not looking for another volunteer opportunity. We are looking for a tribe, a community, a group of people with whom we hold values and a vision of the world in common, with whom we can share, not just work, but cooking and laughter, washing dishes, working in the garden together. We are seeking a sense of belonging, a connectedness that overcomes the isolation that has been imposed upon us by race, by class, by gender, and by a thousand others meaningless distinctions, the ways by which we size up others and say, "like me" or "not like me."

I think there are many, many people out there who are still looking for their tribe. Some of you have been looking for years.

I hope we have found a niche, a place to hang a longer-term commitment.

But in any case, tonight I am happy. And glad to be back.

For more information about Catholic Worker Houses, including a listing of locations, see


Mimi said...

As the she-guerilla put it, "we found our tribe

That's so awesome, Samson! Congratulations to you and your family!

And, welcome back, you've been missed.

Mimi said...

(blush - it'd be nice if I spelled your name correctly, forgive me, Sampson)

Sampson said...

Just don't call me a gorilla, that's all I ask.


Stacy said...

You're back!! Please tell me you're not just teasing!

Caldonia Sun said...

Glad to see you are back. Hope you stay and continue with your thoughtful posting.

Johanna said...

Hi Friend, I'm glad you're back. And thanks for the commentary about looking for one's tribe. I've been looking for that for years, & more recently , because we just moved to a completely new place away from everything "known". I am realizing that my tribe is rather far-flung & not in one place, necessarily. It is a subtle kind of search...
Anyhoo, so happy you're back. I look forward to more conversation & provocative considerations.

seth said...

i found you through somewhere else, possibly stacy? anywho, i've loved what you wrote and was very sad :( to see you were never writing anymore, but now am very happy :) that you are.

Anonymous said...

I check weekly, hoping...hoping.

Thanks for the return!