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Work

Work at the Monastic Family Fraternity of Jesus

Jesus of Nazareth provided the inspiration for the work of the Monastic Family Fraternity of Jesus. The Second Vatican Council stated that work should be lived by each Christian as an act of love for Christ, “who conferred to work a great dignity, working with his own hands in Nazareth” (Gaudium et Spes n. 67, Vatican Council II).

During its existence, the community worked in the fields of organic agriculture, iconography and the rehabilitation of young people from drug addictions.

Organic Agriculture

The Monastery of Vallechiara, originally an area of derelict vineyard south of Rome, developed a range of organic products. Organic agriculture was considered a Christian choice safe-guarding God’s Creation.

The community planted over 50,000 trees transforming the micro-climate of the local area. The fruit from cherry, peach, plum, apricot and pear trees were transformed into jams and fruit juices. Olives were cultivated to produce a quality extra-virgin olive oil. Fields were cultivated for tomatoes and vegetables transformed into pasta-sauces, soups and a variety of quality organic goods. The milk from the community’s buffalos were used to make mozzarella, riccotta and other cheeses.

Iconography

The community’s life rooted in the Gospel was the inspiration for the Icons written at the Monastery of Vallechiara.

Icons, the first form of art within the Church, have been used throughout the centuries to represent Jesus, Our Lady and the Saints. Each icon was painted following guidelines handed down from ancient tradition. Egg tempera was painted on to a solid wooden table using only natural pigments.

Icons were commissioned for the Vatican, St. Paul’s Cathedral and many private individuals.

Community Massimo

Community Massimo is still operational. This is a therapeutic community taking care of those suffering from drug addictions. Members from the Monastery of Vallechiara and specialists used to work together to provide for the spiritual, physical, emotional and pyschological wellbeing of the community’s guests who attended a residential programme based in Anzio.

Working together with brothers and sisters from the Monastery of Vallechiara provided huge benefits for those attending Community Massimo. Guests learned to work in a team, grow in self-esteem, improve their inter-personal relationships and learn new skills in a spirit of mutual service, respect and collaboration.

Since the community began hundreds of people completed the course at Community Massimo and, in the main, were able to make a positive return to society. An even greater number of people, including friends and relatives of those in the community, received help and advice in dealing with drug related problems.

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