28 September 2020

At the Thomas Berry Place, KHA has re-envisioned a spiritual retreat for the 21st century through the lens of social justice and eco-theology.

The Passionist Catholic religious order has maintained this Jamaica, Queens facility for fellowship and contemplation since the 1920s.

A hydroponic farm will help feed the house and support a new paradigm for intentional community, with a community kitchen and print shop operated by Reconnect, a social enterprise supporting disconnected youth. The entire house will gather daily for meals, social interaction, and spiritual communion in bright new spaces oriented toward the landscape and designed to strengthen the connection with the outdoors.

Intentional living communities, including a group of previously-incarcerated women from Hour Children, will occupy residences on the upper floors, and a renewed retreat program will animate expanded meeting spaces. The entire house will gather daily for meals, social interaction, and spiritual communion in bright new spaces oriented toward the landscape and anchored by an indoor living wall.

The building will be rededicated to Passionist and cultural historian Thomas Berry (1914-2009), who sought to unify ecology and Catholic thought, observing that humans “are born of the Earth, nourished by the Earth, healed by the Earth.” This vision will be manifest in on-site solar power and food cultivation, recycled and low-carbon materials, a zero-waste program, and the social support programs of the Center’s mission partners.

 



More News