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I've been praying about (if it is the Lord's will) establishing a traditional Catholic lay community who would live together - different homes - same tract of land -  a refuge for Catholic families - a place to find support to live the Faith courageously and to be a light in the darkness of the world today. 
        I envision a chapel there for perpetual adoration, a priest to offer the Latin mass weekly if not daily and to serve as our advisor, confessor and leader.  I see simple lodging with very limited technology and healthy, home-grown foods.
        I see a community united under the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary supporting the Church through a life of prayer and work offered up for: 1. Necessary graces for good priests - Divine courage to speak the Truth
2. Conversion for those priests, cardinals and bishops who have fallen away and are misleading so many 
3. For an increase in holy, priestly vocations 
4. For the conversions of souls in the world by the billions
5. For an end to abortion and abuse
6. For the purification of Holy Mother Church and the United States of America 
7. For the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 
        I envision older moms and kids helping younger moms and kids with schooling steeped in the Faith.  I see elders respected, revered and being cared for by family and friends.  I see the men being spiritual heads of the family.  I see a place that is self-sustaining - or rather God sustaining - totally relying upon God's Providence. 
        We would not isolate ourselves completely, but find strength there to go out into the neighboring communities and help those in need - or to run a "retreat type" place where other Catholic families living under the stress of our current world & Church crisis could come to find respite and to be renewed - then to return to the places they are called to serve. 
        Mississippi might be a good place, because they recently proposed the strictest abortion bill in the United States - not 100% what we want - but the closest in the country.  (Correct me if I am wrong - I think Tennessee did also)  Land in Mississippi is fairly inexpensive. 
        The land would be consecrated to Our Lady of Refuge/ Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners. 
Has anyone else received a similar desire during their personal prayer time?  
Isn't this sort of thing what's referred to as the Benedict Option?
Yes - The Benedict Option - have the book - it's a huge seller right now. It may be the way of the future for those that actually want to live the Christian life.
I ran across a Facebook page a while back that was proposing a similar idea in the Texas hill country. Sounds like paradise to me, but I don't know how realistically it can be applied.

~Lily~
It may work you would probably know in 3 Generations . Sounds similar to some rual community's through out our lands .
This sounds like a very nice ideal, but ideals need to always be evaluated against reality and history.

One issue with this is that men are social by nature and society is a good thing. To have families look to escape society as a protection at first seems good, but then there are also things that harm the family and its proper development. That is overcome of course by having a proper town or city of traditional Catholics, but that is not often what is proposed. Usually proponents of this idea want the Protestant/Calvinist American ideal. Everyone gets his 40 acres in the country away from town, lives more or less independently has a church to go to on Sundays, etc. 

Catholicism has always been a religion focused on cities. In fact the term "pagans" comes from the term for "country dwellers". If you look at the historical development of Europe and Catholicism it was either due to the conversion of already existing cities, or by people flocking to around an already existing monastery so they would have Mass and the benefits. That was one great reason why St Benedict's order was considered the civilizing influence on Europe.

In those small European towns that still exist, you find people with smaller plots of land extending away from a central town. The farmers live close in with fields extending out, those without land live in the main area, all forming a community, with the church often at the very center. That is usually not what is proposed by the Back to the Land movement, and so lacks that communal aspect, which is what makes it uniquely Catholic among the other land movements. 

Such places also require farmers and people who can live and work there. Many people have tried such ideas, but what happens is that hubby commutes to his job in the city for hours and is absent from the home, and in fact it's very much not the ideal that was sought. If a commune like what is idealized is suggested, then it needs to be self-supporting, not reliant on jobs outside, even if it does interact with the outside world.


Catholicism grew up in the centers of civilization, and there is always the problem that Catholicism is a religion that is not just Apostolic in lineage, but apostolic in outreach. In that sense, given the dilapidated state of places like Detroit, that might be a better place for our suburbanite culture to look. Whole neighborhoods are empty and relatively crime free (because empty). Churches are easily available. Businesses could be built up to serve both the local community, but also draw others. And it also provides a transition for those who already work in the cities, plus the advantage of being apostolic.

There are plenty of other considerations, but I think it is important not to be lead off into a utopian ideology which has no grounding in reality or in the history of Catholicism or in the proper understanding of fallen human nature and social interaction.
Thank you all for your replies - a lot to consider and to pray about. I did order the Benedict Option book.
You may like to read The Clowns of God by Morris L. West.