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 is not a church or hosting a congregation. However, we hope that this House is 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.” Lydia’s House is 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 makes this vision a reality by
- Creating a physical space of beauty and hospitality where each person is valued and respected
- Offering a weekly children’s Christian formation program for current guests, former guests and neighborhood kids using the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
- 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
- Engaging in celebrations of life, new birth, and milestones that include prayer and an emphasis on the belovedness of each individual in our circle
- Defining set times for prayer for volunteers and staff
- Providing spiritual companionship and deep listening for all who live in the house and those in aftercare
- Partnering with local congregations, as houses of worship, for those that pass through our doors
- Hosting a seasonal ecumenical prayer and worship service in the house for guests, former guests, volunteers and neighbors