Our family moved to Steubenville in 1985 in order to serve the Lord in covenant community. We had been involved in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal for many years prior to that time, serving prayer meetings and sharing in a wonderful small community in Dayton, Ohio where our three children were born. But we felt a desire to do more, to serve the broader Church in the work of renewal.
We looked towards other communities that were founded out of the charismatic renewal and it seemed that the community in Steubenville, then known as The Servants of God’s Love had a similar lifestyle to what we were accustomed to and had a much bigger outreach to serve the Church, primarily through the Franciscan University of Steubenville. We were welcomed to visit a number of times and found that the brothers and sisters here shared a lively and expectant faith, and had many outlets for service that were attractive to us. After much prayer and discernment we decided to move.
Things were not so easy to simply pull up stakes in Dayton and move across Ohio to Steubenville! It took almost two years to find a job in social work that would provide for our needs, but God was faithful. In that time period, 9 other families moved from Dayton to Steubenville to live in community so there were many trips back and forth moving people in and helping them to relocate. When it was our turn we had a ready group of close friends and many new friends to welcome us to our new home.
While it wasn’t easy to say goodbye to friends and family back in Dayton, a whole new adventure awaited us as we entered into community life. Our lives were sustained in prayer and the sacraments in new ways. The prayer meetings and small groups for men and women were encouraging and promoted growth in holiness and service. There were so many new opportunities to serve, and each week seemed to fly by because of these opportunities.
One of the main things we will always be grateful for in our journey to move to Steubenville was the opportunity to raise our three children in an environment where each family was trying to follow the Lord and live according to Biblical and Church teachings. Each of the kids had a wonderful formation and training in Catholic schools from kindergarten through college. Today, they are all married and raising our grandchildren in the faith that they were taught. We will always be grateful to God for His goodness in leading us to join community life for that as well as many other blessings!
Joe & Liz L.