One of the things that is very important to Dominicans is hospitality. It is expressed in many diverse ways and yet is easily recognized when you experience it. It's something that as Dominicans we come to expect when we visit any community. And I am always so grateful when I do.
The Atlanta Penn community, where I visited this weekend, is a great example of the Dominican hospitality. The community members include three sisters, a candidate and two Dominican Volunteers and their ages range from 22 to 80-something. This weekend they welcomed into their home three of us as overnight guests providing a warm welcome, good meals, and a bed (or sofa) for the night. Besides us, another 25 guests, associates, friends and others from their Just Faith group, joined us on Saturday evening for a gathering after we celebrated together the confirmation of one of their community members at the local parish. There were lots of stories, laughs and hugs, good food and important conversations, and genuine respect and care for each person there.
Penn community has hospitality down to a fine art. They have an easy way of being that makes each guest feel right at home. Everyone in the community pitches in to get the work done without a lot of fuss. They are interested in each guest. It appears seamless and yet you know that lots has gone into creating this hospitable way of being where all are welcome!
Where and how have you experienced hospitality?
How do you offer hospitality?
Mary Ann Nelson, OP