Clark and Laura host a special mini-series focused on the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. As missionaries serving in DC, they had met and interacted with several of the bishops who were involved in the scandal. They discuss what went wrong, what reforms are necessary, and how do we, as lay people, do our part. For many people outside of the Church, the sex abuse crisis is the main thing they know about the Catholic Church. For this reason, if you’re interested in Catholic evangelization or missionary work, Clark points out, it’s important to understand this scandal and know what you think about it.
Conversion stories are important not only because they’re edifying, but also because they give us clues as missionaries for how God works in people’s lives and hearts. In this episode, Clark talks about how he came into the Catholic Church when he was a young adult. From living in a hippie commune to reading a Christian book every day one summer of college, Clark’s journey to becoming Catholic (and eventually to starting a Catholic mission) was full of twists, turns, and truth-seeking.
Clark and Laura share stories and insights from their time spent serving with one of the most formative ministries for both A Simple House and themselves as missionaries, Exodus Youth Services. Exodus was a Catholic mission based in Washington, D.C. that focused on leading Bible studies for kids in poor neighborhoods. Clark and Laura discuss the impact of meeting those families living in poverty and how the Exodus ministry’s way of evangelization influenced the starting of A Simple House.
When Laura was in high school, she met a sandal-wearing monk in the dead of winter who she went on to become friends with, who told her about how before he became a monk, he had had his dream job working at a newspaper. He decided he wanted something more, so he gave it all up to live a life of voluntary poverty committed to God. Because of this, Lauren decided she wanted to live her life all for Jesus. She went to Catholic University of America in order to keep growing in her faith. She and Clark met as young adults through a Catholic ministry they were both volunteering at, where they visited inner-city families and led Bible studies with kids. There, she learned a lot about praying, evangelization, and trusting in the Lord. She realized that the Christian was called to care for the poor in a particular way, and that God had a special love for the poor. From there, she helped Clark as he worked to found a new ministry serving the poor, and Clark eventually asked her to move into one of the first houses that A Simple House had.
We started a podcast!
In this episode, Clark and Laura discuss the Catholic Worker Movement. The Catholic Worker’s model of service was a big influence on A Simple House’s mission. The Catholic Worker was a movement founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in order to directly serve the poor. Both Laura and Clark volunteered at the Catholic Worker houses in DC. The Catholic Worker movement was personal, in the sense that Catholic Workers took personal responsibility in society’s problems and helping their neighbor, and that they served people on a personal level. It was also deeply rooted in solidarity with the poor and voluntary poverty, not only serving the poor and homeless but sharing life with them. These were all attributes that Clark and Laura wanted to carry into A Simple House’s ministry. The Catholic Worker model provided important influences on the formation of Simple House.
Peace out winter! Happy spring!
Last week Tristan took her friend to lunch and sat in the park for a while afterward!
A Simple House evangelizes through acts of charity. This means that we try to help our friends in whatever area they need. Tristan's friend does not get out of the house often, so it was a special opportunity to go out for lunch and sit in the sun. They also worked on housing paperwork in order to make positive steps toward a better living situation for her.
We held a memorial service for our friends' grandson who was murdered in January. Family members took turns lighting candles around the apartment while helping lead prayers and sharing memories. We feel honored to have been able to lead such a service. It is our hope to always be a place of charity and comfort in troubling times; this allows to truly live life with the people we serve.
She’s moved in!
One of our good ministry friends moved into a house last December!
This friend had been previously homeless for several years. Our mission is to meet the unique need of each person and due to her mental illness, this friend was unable to find housing that made her comfortable. Through God’s goodness we were able to build a friendship with her. Eventually found this home where she can stay warm and safe.
DC has been working with a local parish in order to reach out to people in the community! The parish, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, has opportunities for prayer on zoom, house blessings, and more. Doing outreaches such as this is how A Simple House is able to meet different individuals and families. It is apart of our mission to not only serve the homeless but anyone has a need.