Lydia’s House is rooted in the Christian tradition, specifically in the practices of the Catholic Worker movement. While the mission of Lydia’s House is to provide housing and support for women and their children in times of crisis, it is not a housing agency. Rather, the House is a home grounded in the Catholic Worker commitments to personalism, solidarity, faith and community, practiced alongside gospel-prescribed works of mercy.
Unlike some Catholic Worker Houses, Lydia’s House will not be a church or host a congregation. However, we hope that this House will be holy ground:
A sanctuary for all who come through our doors
A space for meaningful dialogue about the structures and systems that keep the poor poor
A place for prayer and transformation for all, regardless of income, class, or culture
Peter Maurin, co-founder of the Catholic Worker, said that the movement intended to “create a place where it is easier to be good.” If Lydia’s House is successful, it will be a space where both the affluent and the needy can bring their gifts to the table and share them in a way that gives life to all involved.
Lydia’s House hopes to make this small but lofty vision a reality by
- Creating a physical space of beauty and hospitality where each person is valued and respected
- Doing our work in a sacramental spirit: serving meals that are healthy and whole, including guests in decision making, communicating and living non-violently, providing respite and retreat for both guests and volunteers
- Defining set times for prayer in the lives of volunteers and, should they choose to participate, the guests
- Providing spiritual companionship and deep listening for all who live in the house
- Partnering with local congregations, as houses of worship for those that pass through our doors
- Hosting a monthly ecumenical prayer and worship service in the house
Photo courtesy of Julianna Boehm Photography