Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Tuesday, April 15, 2014
2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Regis School 50th Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

Home : News : Nation and World
Community house members embrace 'radical Christian discipleship'
Catholic News Service photo
Natasha and Jon Stotts play with their 3-month-old daughter, Eloise, while housemate Will Hunter looks on in early January in Nashville, Tenn. The group lives together in a community house owned by Christ the King Parish. The two men, Vanderbilt Universi ty divinity students, help out at the church, and the group opens their home for parish events.
Catholic News Service photo
Natasha and Jon Stotts play with their 3-month-old daughter, Eloise, while housemate Will Hunter looks on in early January in Nashville, Tenn. The group lives together in a community house owned by Christ the King Parish. The two men, Vanderbilt Universi ty divinity students, help out at the church, and the group opens their home for parish events.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a small, unassuming brick house across the street from Christ the King Church, Jon and Natasha Stotts dote on their 3-month-old daughter Eloise, exchanging smiles as she plays on the living room floor. The dog eagerly sniffs the baby; the cat darts by and hides in a corner.

It's a pretty typical scene for a young family enjoying a low-key day together at home.

But this is not exactly a typical household. The Stotts have a housemate, Will Hunter. On this day he's sitting at the dining room table working on his laptop, under the watchful eye of Jesus and the apostles, looking down from a Last Supper painting.

Will, Jon and Natasha -- and infant Eloise -- are part of a new experiment in Christian community living, sponsored by Christ the King Church in Nashville, where they are members. They have made a one-year commitment to live together, share resources and volunteer at the parish.

"Radical Christian discipleship is something that shapes the kinds of decisions we make here," said Jon Stotts, a doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt University Divinity School.

"We have a commitment to taking care of each other, and I'm not sure if we have a whole lot of people doing that. The wider culture seems to encourage everyone to take care of themselves," Hunter told the Tennessee Register, Nashville's diocesan newspaper. In this house, "we're trying to model what a good Catholic family would do, in a nontraditional way."

It was Patout Burns, a Vanderbilt Divinity School professor and Christ the King parishioner, who suggested the idea of having divinity students live together in the house.

"The parish was talking about what kinds of things could be done to develop community," said Joceline Lemaire, Christ the King director of adult formation. The parish needed a bridge between young adults and the older generation, and the community house could provide that bridge, she said.

Jon Stotts and Hunter have joined existing parish groups and led adult education programs.

"They offer a lot of good service in the parish," Lemaire said. The parish owns the house and gives the residents reduced rent, "but they're working for it," she said. "These two guys are so bright and knowledgeable, and really gifted," Lemaire said.

And both are deeply committed to the Catholic faith. Stotts spent time at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana and Hunter is contemplating a vocation to the priesthood. He's visited the Trappist monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky and recently participated in a weeklong Jesuit retreat. He's also a Benedictine Oblate. "I'm really drawn to the prayer and work" ethos, he said.

Stotts is a presenter for the current "Everyday Theology" Wednesday night series at Christ the King and Hunter was a presenter at a recent series on Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement.

"Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day are the biggest influences on my approach to Catholicism," said Hunter, a Vanderbilt Divinity student and a convert to the faith.

Day, along with Peter Maurin, founded the Catholic Worker in New York during the Great Depression; Father Merton was a Trappist monk at Gethsemani and an acclaimed writer.

"The two strands that run through Dorothy Day's life -- her social consciousness and her political activism, and the mystical side of her -- I'm really interested in that combination," he said.

While Hunter and the Stottses are not cultivating an outreach or activist household, they are focused on building community, among themselves and among Christ the King parishioners.

"It takes a different set of values and virtues for doing outreach versus living in community," said Jon Stotts. "It's really hard work to live with other people outside of a vow" of marriage or religious life, he added.

"It's harder than I thought to live with another person and start a family," said Natasha Stotts. The couple lived in the house with Hunter for just two months before Eloise was born, barely enough time to get into a rhythm. After the baby came, "we realized we were being reclusive with our time," she said. "We had to make an effort to reconnect with Will."

The group tries to have Sunday night dinners together to catch up and touch base about any household issues that need addressing. They also try to make time and space for prayer, separately and together.

These young people are embracing their unusual living arrangement to show people that there is another way to live, a way not defined by individualism and financial success. "We've been living under a paradigm that says there's no alternative for so long," Hunter said. "It's really exciting to do something different."

Energized by Pope Francis's consistent message to rein in consumption and create a more just economy, young adult Catholics are excited to get back to church these days, Hunter said, and he and the Stottses hope to build on that newfound enthusiasm.

"Pope Francis is pointing us back to the social teachings of the church," Hunter said, and his words and actions provide a lot of good topics for discussion.

Natasha, Jon and Will look forward to hosting more parish groups centered on food, drink and good conversation. "I think people are really starved for a connection," said Jon Stotts. "We want to create a space where people can come without pressure to do or be anything."





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments. 
 
Article comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language, contain no vulgarity or obscenities and be related to the story that is being commented on. Article comments are not posted immediately to the site. Each submission must be approved by the site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the site editor reviews and approves it. 
 
Note: All information on this form Is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search






Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2014 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved