Jesus calls us into community, sharing his life and teachings with the apostles, and then directing them to share the good news of His kingdom on earth with those of us who follow. A sense of community is one of the most powerful supports for mental health.
There are many, many Christian and Catholic communities throughout the United States and internationally that can inspire and lead us towards discipleship with others.
- Sant’Edigio is an international, Catholic lay community that focuses on prayer, the poor, and peace. Prayer involves listening to the Gospel and using it to guide members’ lives. The poor are considered brothers and sisters with members of the Sant’Edigio, and the community focuses on supporting those on the fringes of society, including the elderly, homeless, disabled, prisoners, and more. Lastly, the Sant’Edigio community works for protecting and upholding peace in various communities and spaces throughout the world. A favorite of Pope Francis and most recent Popes, Sant’Egidio has groups in dozens of countries including the US. You can find a brief description toward the end of Desire of the Everlasting Hills and more details on the community’s website: https://www.santegidio.org/pageID/30008/langID/en/THE-COMMUNITY.html).
- From its headquarters in France, Taize is another Christian community that works for justice internationally. This community is based in an ecumenical monastic order that uses prayer and meditation to work towards peace and justice in the world. Taize has its own specific type of music, a simple, chant-like approach and its center in France has been a destination for spiritual renewal for tens of thousands of young (and older) people for decades. (Click here to learn more: https://www.taize.fr).
- The Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) is an educational nonprofit introducing seekers to the contemplative Christian path of transformation. A great source of provocative books, podcasts, and lectures in the Catholic tradition. (Click here to learn more: https://cac.org).
- The Iona Community is known as “an international and ecumenical Christian movement working for justice and peace, the rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship.” At present the group is made up 280 members and 2,000 associate members, young adults, and friends who form a virtual group around the world. (Click here to learn more: https://iona.org.uk).
- Prayer, Penance, and Pub (P3) is a social group, located in the Boston area and throughout the country. It is an evening of recollection that provides the opportunity for young professionals to attend Adoration, confession, and a guided time for prayer. Following these activities, the group meets at a local pub to socialize. (Click here to learn more about Boston: https://p3-boston.mailchimpsites.com/; and other communities: https://www.stcharleschurch.org/young-adult).