The first word in the first step of the 12 Steps for Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous is “We.” We are a community of people first and foremost. The desire to belong to a community is part of our human spirit, and when we find a community where we are accepted and feel connected, that’s when we begin to change.
Community can be defined as a feeling of friendly association with a group of people who share common interests and goals. Members of a community advocate and support each other in the face of trials, hold each other accountable when necessary, and celebrate milestones and accomplishments together. This is also an accurate description of St. Christopher’s Inn.
At St. Christopher’s Inn, we host men who are in crisis due to their addiction. Frequently, these men have lost the trust and support of everyone in their lives. Not only are they mentally and emotionally bankrupt, but because of their addiction, they have lost their community. They live as loners in shame and desperation. The beauty of the Inn and the Friars of the Atonement and Staff is that all are welcomed in our recovering community.
Building a sense of connection within a community takes time and patience, but also brings healing. When the men realize they have something in common with everyone here, they begin to feel connected. This connection helps them to share openly and truthfully in their addiction treatment, with the spiritual counselors, and eventually, with their family. This leads to healing and recovery.
The Friars and staff of SCI work hard to create and maintain our Recovery Community. It’s not so easy as the disease of addiction – cunning, baffling and powerful – forces men to isolate and feel shame. All the more reason for us to reach out and…”heal wounds, unite what has fallen apart, and bring home those who have lost their way” (St. Francis of Assisi).