Sunday, June 2, 2019

Expanding hospitality

This weekend we had a group from out of town for a weekend "retreat" of their own direction and organization. They filled most of our guest rooms and a hermitage or two. We only saw them at meals but they were absolutely lovely, easy to interact with, respectful and gracious. And they were all some kind of "Anonymous" member.

I checked on the internet and found over 30 Anonymous groups: alcoholics, over-eaters, gamblers, narcotics, codependents, sexaholics, workaholics, marijuana, nicotine anonymous and many more. Their commonality, it seems, is the 12 steps. It is the mainstay for all of these groups.

We have hundreds of people that come through here as part of our hospitality ministry. Most are friends, family members, oblates, many nuns or people in spirituality/religious ministries. They blend easily into our rhythm and daily life. But this group really gave me new thoughts on the hospitality we can offer: if we can provide a place that offers safety, non-judgment, kindness and respect, especially to relative "strangers" who need such, that has to be a very important piece of our Benedictine hospitality, too. I hope they'll be back.