In a recent article from U.S. Catholic, Common Law lawyer Karen Gargamelli and her newly founded lay community Benincasa are profiled. Established in New York’s Upper West Side, Benincasa, is named and patterned after 14th century mystic and theologian, Catherine of Siena. It was established as house/retreat center, the emphasis of which is placed on prayer and the pursuit of social justice.
While Gargamelli practiced housing law she found it difficult to incorporate an ethos of Christian justice and spirituality into a secular matrix of thought. At the same time, living alone in a studio apartment, Gargamelli also felt an alienation and lack of spiritual support from her local parish. “I have a sense that before my time parishes were places where people felt supported,” laments Gargamelli, “I don’t know that the parish is really a home base anymore.” Gargamelli cites the Church’s focus on sacraments, along with less emphasis on theological reflection/adult education, as perpetrators of her spiritual malaise. Continue reading “The Medieval Beguines: Models for Spiritual Agency Today by Cynthia Garrity Bond”