Community Living Fosters Personal Growth

Holy Cross College, Notre Dame Indiana

St. Joseph Discernment House community

It’s hard to believe that we are only a couple of weeks away from the end of this Spring semester. Our time together has presented new personal challenges that I have embraced and used as opportunities for growth. Some of these challenges include learning how to improve internal communication here within the house, learning my strengths and weaknesses, and reminding myself that prayer is essential to daily life.

 I believe that community living has helped foster healthy relationships that allow us to confide in each other and utilize our talents to help each other when opportunities avail themselves. There is a certain vulnerability that comes with choosing to live in a community like St. Joseph House and I am very thankful for the times that we have been able to experience life together under the same roof. Some of the big things that help us to remain a cohesive group is maintaining an active prayer life, which is supplemented by our daily gatherings for morning and evening prayer.

 Lent was a very special time for us here. Not only did we attend Holy Week services together, but we also took up a new ministry at Our Lady of the Road (a Catholic Worker House operation) where we were able to engage with our brothers and sisters that are experiencing homelessness. When it came to our house dinners, we dedicated ourselves to simple meal plans – the frequent soup dishes were a reminder of how grateful we should be to have something warm to eat during the cold days of winter. 

 I look forward to taking these experiences with me when I return home to Texas. I am so grateful for the opportunities that this semester has allowed me to embrace. I am looking forward to the new experiences that will avail themselves after we depart from St. Joseph House and figuring out how to incorporate what I have learned in my tenure here into whichever community I may find myself part of.

Gilbert Martinez, Postulant