The Church calls us to evangelize by the witness of our life:
“…the first means of evangelization is the witness of an authentically Christian life, given over to God in a communion that nothing should destroy, and at the same time given to one’s neighbor with limitless zeal. As we said recently to a group of lay people, ‘Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses’… It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world; in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus; in short, the witness of sanctity.”
– Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, December 8, 1975
We are a community of Catholics who want to respond to the Lord Jesus Christ’s prayer to His Father on the night before He suffered, that all of His followers would be one, as He and the Father are one (John 17:21). As a result, we have covenanted ourselves to Him and to one another, in association with thousands of our fellow Catholics throughout the world.
Inspired by accounts in The Acts of the Apostles (2:44-47 and 4:32-35) of the common life of the early Christians, we desire to imitate their way of life in today’s Catholic American culture. Our common life consists in communal prayer and worship, sharing of resources, and assisting one another to attain the highest ideals of the gospel and Church teaching. Members pursue a living union with Christ through:
- Regular Prayer
- Study of Sacred Scripture
- Frequent participation in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist
Moreover, our members strive for a relationship with one another characterized by active sacrificial love and a shared life as a basis of a life of mission. While it is the community’s covenant and way of life flowing from its statutes, teachings, and agreements that give it a certain amount of cohesion, it is love that binds our members together to participate in this particular expression of the gospel within the Roman Catholic Church.
Community members represent a cross-section of Christ’s lay faithful — married couples, families, single parents, and single men and women (a number of whom have gone on to become priests, brothers, religious sisters, and consecrated virgins). Members live in a variety of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and living situations, and participate and serve in their local parishes. Most hold secular jobs, ranging from laborers to professionals, while a number of our younger members attend local universities. Since 1984 we have operated our own school, Koinonia Academy, encompassing kindergarten through twelfth grade.
People who are initially attracted to the life and spirituality of the community undergo a period of discernment and formation and then may decide to become full, “publicly committed”, and covenanted members of the People of Hope. Full membership calls for a commitment to abide by the statutes, order, teachings and agreements of the community. Nevertheless, entering the covenant does not require vows, but rather a response to Jesus’ admonition in The Sermon on the Mount to say ‘yes’ when you say ‘yes’, and ‘no’ when you say ‘no’ (MT 5:37). Membership calls for active participation in the community’s life, striving to reach the rich ideals of Catholicism, and responding to the awesome love of God, so as to be witnesses of the gospel, drawing one another and others more fully into the life of Christ.