Since launching Community Groups at my parish, which is a weekly small group ministry where people host their friends and neighbors in their homes instead of yet another on-campus event, I have been diving through a lot of Catholic reflection on community and its lack in modern life. Thanks to a friend who is working towards his Doctorate in Thomistic Studies, he has sent me a plethora of articles and essays on this topic.
Three weeks ago my wife and I hosted 50+ people in our home for an Inclusion class. Inclusion is my branded title for a modified RCIA class only for those who are already baptized and well-formed. There are currently 30 people in the class, and we invited their families to come to my house for a potluck social and a short teaching on the Sacraments.
Their kids played with my kids. We all shared a meal together in the chaos and loudness of my not-too-big house filled with over 50 people. Wine was had, as was dessert. In the end we prayed for one the participants and her chronic pain. In short, we got to know one another, celebrate with one another, explore our faith with one another, and pray for one another.
It was about a week afterwards that this article was sent to me. Sure, it is long, but it is definitely worth it. The breakdown of our community, which is always local, is reflected in the modern, wealthy disposition towards Philanthropy, the paying of huge sums for global causes, while literally neglecting those who are right next door. What if we redirected the $300-billion Big Philanthropy industry towards the neighborhood? What would it look like if we cared for the single mom down the street?