Great Turning CW Reaches Goal, Acquires 2nd House

After raising more than $195,000 to purchase a second house, The Great Turning CW turns to the work of hospitality and expanding its urban farming operation.

Justin and Andrea Novotney of The Great Turning Catholic Worker (Madison, Wisconsin) report that they closed on the house neighboring their existing home on June 2. The closing was followed by an open house attended by friends and members of the Madison Catholic Worker community.

“We had an awesome celebration tonight, we have a mom and her son moving in tomorrow who had been staying in a hotel for weeks, and we felt so much community support today,” Justin reported on the night of the closing.

Besides raising the $195,000 needed for the closing, donors gave enough to cover the new house’s expenses for the year, plus a needed roof repair.

“Our work in this home will be centered around offering hospitality to those in need of housing, particularly refugees, families with children, women, and mothers,” said Justin as the fundraising effort began. (See previous story and updates here.) “It will also expand our ability to continue the work of gardening, education and workshops, and building up systems of resistance and resiliency.”

The Novotneys left professional careers to start the Great Turning Catholic Worker Farm on the west side of Madison, Wisconsin in 2019. Besides being influenced by Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement, the Novotneys’ sense of mission has also been shaped by the writing of Joanna Macy about the Great Turning,” the cultural shift away from the Industrial Growth Society toward a life-sustaining civilization.

“We often speak of our role in Madison as a ‘hub of resiliency’ in uncertain times,” the Novotneys write. “Our Catholic Worker farm is committed to values of simple living, hospitality, resistance, resiliency, and care for the most vulnerable. We’re committed to embracing the poor among us, learning from them, and together, creating an abundant community. “

Here’s a video from the open house; all videos and photography are courtesy the Novotneys:

A backyard celebration on the day of the closing.
The backyard has plenty of room for GTCW to expand its urban farming operation.
Justin and Andrea Novotney

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