Development as Community
A bunch of friends––that’s all community was to me when I went down to the Finca, and my perspective did not change until my penultimate night there. As I was getting ready for bed, I began to talk about my future with one of the missionaries there. I mentioned to her how I was discerning between doing missionary work or doing the Alliance for Catholic Education program after I graduated. As someone who herself discerned that decision as she graduated from Notre Dame, she surprised me with her biggest issue with ACE: the lack of community. I was taken off guard by this response and, playing devil’s advocate, I replied, “What would you say to someone who says you don’t really need community? That, in reality, a community is just a bunch of friends, which is nice to have, but not really necessary to missionary work?” As I was finishing my question, she just shook her head and started to tell me how community has changed her. Listening to her speak, I began to realize how community has changed me too. We both discovered ourselves in community, and in community I discovered my response to development.