Fools, clowns, madmen & wandering mystics

Trip Start Nov 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
with Peter & Polly in Deming

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Monday, January 28, 2008

Dinner in Columbus, NM.  A potluck with a new community there--members of The Fourth Order, an interfaith non-order of "fools, clowns, madmen, troubadours and wandering mystics" they described themselves, "inspired by the life and teachings of Francis and Clare of Assisi." It's an international group, one which I'd never heard of, that tries to operate in the manner of "divine chaos."

Although initially bewildered by the unfamiliar, I felt soon at ease with these out-of-the-mainstream folk with whom we gathered to learn about the community-organizing work they've started in Palomas, MX, a few miles away across the border. And altho they claim "divine chaos," their conversation showed lots of savvy about the establishment of nonprofit corporations, grantseeking and general effectiveness.

Their community: Our Lady of Las Polamas Hermitage.
You can visit the website for photos and a slice of their off-beat and refreshing take on life.

The highlight of the evening was a report from a listening session in Palomas. People there said there's no hope in Palomas, no jobs, no way to get ahead. They need job skills and employment. A former car wash that was donated is now under renovation to become a community center, a place to develop alternative energy projects, gardening and a women's textile co-op. We helped with this process the next day.
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