Fr. Sebastian in his post on October 2, 2014 suggested that preserving the abandoned Churches in the inner city could possibly be an answer to stemming the violence we read about almost daily. He wrote:
“If they are given some exposure, in an open, clearly visible venue, surrounded by nature’s contributions of trees, bushes, flowers and lawns, they can be oases of the awesome, the majestic, the transcendent, into the neighborhoods now besmirched with liquor stores, shuttered houses, debris-littered alleys, vacant lots, and graffiti inscribed walls, that, in short, spell ugliness. “
I would like to build on Father’s suggestion. Would if we established some co-housing (read: affordable housing and see above YouTube) around these churches developing a kind of new neighborhood, one centered around a reinvisioned church and community or maybe a shrine to a Passionist Saint or to the Cross. Maybe the church could be a cultural center as well as a multidenominational place of worship, one where Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Protestants and Catholics alike could worship?
Co-housing would not displace current residents from their neighborhood. Any attempt would start with them planning to renew their community and not only keep them there, but invite new members to join them in the process of making their neighborhood one that is safe, welcoming and full of life and oh yes, affordable.
Anyone know of any abandoned church in need of such a solution? Just a thought.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.