Its Not Easy: Building Community

As an introvert, yup. This is a good field guide of sorts for introverts.

Dorothy Day Center for Faith & Justice

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A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on this blog about not going alone in this life and the importance of community.  But I also know that building community is not easy.  When I put the microscope on my own life, I realize that I am a classic example of how we all struggle to seek, create and nurture authentic community.  So I want share about what I am learning, mostly through my own mistakes, misgivings and fear.  Creating authentic community is always a challenge, but I continue to seek it because it fills my basic human need for deep connection with others, and I believe that it is the key ingredient to a sense of solidarity or the understanding that our fates are bound together with others’ on this journey.

First, I am introverted, which means that I gain energy from being alone, being still, being quiet.  And…

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Lasts and goodbyes

From the sister blog, why I’ve been quiet lately…moving day is coming, soon. Blessings — VKS

St. Val the Urban Monastic

I have to move soon.  Within a week.  The whys are ugly and complicated on some level.  I have a lot to say about it, but can’t really.  I know I can’t stay, but I’ve been on assignment here for over two years.  I’m moving twenty miles away, back to my hometown.  Urban Monastic, off to the suburbs.  Bus service sucks there, so it will cut me off from my mother, my sister, my adorable niece.  I am going to stay with a dear friend and her husband.  It’s a good thing, and will put me closer to church as well.


Saying goodbye to life here, even grim and hard-scrabble life scratched from nothing, is hard.  I’ve gotten used to being able to easily get to my family.  I’ve had a few “last” adventures in the city in the past few weeks.

School is still impossible, but hopefully I…

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I have been trying to think what to write about my life right now to a five year old in Tanzania and a ten year old in Ecuador.  I have no good answers, and life lately has left me stunned and silent.  I am currently caught in the middle of a lawsuit involving a boat and a bathtub that will leave me having to move on again, slightly out-of-area, and cut off from my family for awhile.  Definitely cut off from Los Angeles.  There are advantages and disadvantages.  I have been thinking about many things.

I am on the bathtub end of the lawsuit, which will keep me driven from the house until it is fixed.  This morning I went to mass.  Fr. Arturo got an ‘A’ in homiletics in two languages (and surely an ‘A’ in choir as well).  This morning’s text was Luke 6:20-26 — the Beatitudes and their inverse.  I could not stop crying.

2013 isn’t working out, but God is on the throne and I am loved.  I’m not sure much more needs to or can be said.


Wentworth Wigglewhiskers

I drew this for a dear friend — niece of another dear friend — a few years back.  The full picture was Eleanor and Wentworth with  a cupcake.  Wentworth is getting on, but he and his amazing family really light my life.  I am tired and wondering what is next.

Blessings — VKS

St. Peter Claver, Patron of the Negro Mission

The local Roman Catholic church in one of the cities where I grew up was named for St. Peter Claver. He’s worth knowing, an amazing missionary saint who really invested himself in the lives and faith journey of the marginalized people he loved and served: slaves.

(Sidebar: Haven’t posted much lately due to difficulties getting WordPress to work well on my tablet)

The Holy Ones

St. Peter Claver was born at Verdu, Catalonia, Spain, in 1580, of impoverished parents descended from ancient and distinguished families. He studied at the Jesuit college of Barcelona, entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tarragona in 1602 and took his final vows on August 8th, 1604. While studying philosophy at Majorca, the young religious was influenced by St. Alphonsus Rodriguez to go to the Indies and save “millions of perishing souls.”

In 1610, he landed at Cartagena (modern Colombia), the principle slave market of the New World, where a thousandslaves were landed every month. After his ordination in 1616, he dedicated himself by special vow to the service of the Negro slaves-a work that was to last for thirty-three years. He labored unceasingly for the salvation of the Africanslaves and the abolition of the Negro slave trade, and the love he lavished on them was something that transcended the natural order.

Boarding the slave ships as they entered the harbor, he would hurry to the revolting inferno…

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