The Future of Mary's House
We are discerning the future of the house. It’s time for a change – I (Shelley) lived there and gave hospitality for 25 years. For a year the Guadelupan Sisters tried out hospitality there, but it was too big a stretch for people who already held full-time jobs, and the interest from Spanish-speaking families wasn’t great enough to justify it. For a few months now we (the Mary’s House board) have been overseeing the house, where we currently have three guests. We have been discerning the future for the house at the same time, but like everything about Mary’s House, it’s not something that can be done without our community.
Here’s where we’ve arrived so far:
What we’re doing now is working but not sustainable for the long haul.
We need people “on the ground” at the house.
We need people who want to make the house their own, to create their own vision of a Catholic Worker for Birmingham.
We need people who are in love with that vision, people who would like to try it here in the deep South. They could already be experienced Workers, or they could be new folks who want to become experienced. They could be local folks; they could come from a distance.
We need your help in finding such folks and putting us in touch.
We have set a timeline for ourselves. We want to hand the house over (or be well on the way to it) by Christmas 2021. New folks would not have to follow the blueprint we’ve laid down here – they would be free to develop their own form of hospitality, decide which peace/justice work they want to pursue – and so on.
Do you know anyone who might want to try this experiment?
If we haven’t found anyone to keep the Catholic Worker by next summer, we’re going to begin exploring other local groups who might be able to use the house in their work, in some form of hospitality or justice work. When we raised money for the house in the beginning we promised that it would continue to be used to create the Beloved Community, and that commitment holds.
If you have ideas or suggestions about local groups who fit that description and could use the house, please let us know. And most of all – we need your prayers! We want to be open to the promptings of the Spirit in this journey, so please pray that we can find, and recognize, the right future for Mary’s House.