The Benincasa Community is a small lay community of adults who live together in intentional community and stand for justice through actions and ministry that extend to the NYC community and beyond.
“We are small, committed…We are inspired by and connected to the Dominican Sisters of the Northeast, the Catholic Worker Movement, and the Thompson Street Jesuits. We are monastic in that we offer a peaceful place of refuge for guests and visitors while maintaining a daily rhythm of meals and prayer. We are apostolic in that we offer aid and seek to be in solidarity with our neighbors and all of creation,” their website reads.
As young adults, the core members of Benincasa struggled to find nourishment, vitality, and inclusion in the structures of parish life and canonical organizations. Guided by the Gospel, they sought jobs as advocates and educators, yet they served without the spiritual, intellectual, emotional or practical support of community. They felt a deep and almost desperate desire to evolve and expand their understanding of God, deepen their contemplative practice and their commitment to gospel action, and live in community. Thus, they developed Through Every Age, a program designed to support those similarly seeking but not called to join in residence at Benincasa Community. Unsurprisingly, there were many more applications for the program than there were open spots.
“This is an opportunity to nourish and enrich lay Catholics who are working for justice and peace,” Dominican Sister of Hope Anne Marie Bucher, OP says. Sister Anne Marie was involved with Benincasa through its forming in 2015, and she continues to be a friend to the community today.
Nowadays, Benincasa continues building community and working for justice from their home in Connecticut. They are currently forming a group of climate activists who will eventually create a curriculum for visitors to Benincasa. For her part, Sister Anne Marie is pleased to be along for the journey.
“Too often, there isn’t spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual support for faith-based communities outside of vowed religious communities,” said Sister Anne Marie Bucher.
This post is part of our Hope Is series to commemorate Hope’s birthday. Follow along and see all of the posts here.