An Ecumenical, Spiritual, and Charitable Community
"St. Dismas House" was opened as a house of hospitality at 1601 N. Bois d'Arc in Tyler, Texas, on May 9, 1993 by Father Tom Jackson. It was from there that struggle, joy and Community blossomed.
Father Tom, ordained an Episcopal priest in 1968, had worked in various ministries throughout the U.S.In 1990, he decided to form an ecumenical, spiritual community of Companions throughout the country, and named it the "Community of Hope"; in 1992 he went to learn and work with the Roman Catholic "Andre House" workers in Phoenix. From those experiences, and through readings of the lives of Dorothy Day, Henri Nouwen, and others, he decided as Abbot, in 1993, to re-dedicate (and re-name) "The Order of Christian Workers" to work with the poor and struggling.
In the ensuing years, as more and more pilgrims from many different religious and vocational backgrounds became active in the work and spirit of the Order, various Companions have been blessed as monks and nuns, as servant-leaders committed to a lifelong involvement in the ministry and work. None of the Servant-leaders or the Companions of the Order receive salary; all operating funds come from begging rather than grants or denominational budgets.
From such, Community grows... a contagious sense of new life and hope begins... and spirits soar to reunion with the heart of God...
Perhaps the last known words of the wonderful monk, Thomas Merton, will convey our intended spirit and focus as an Order: "What we are asked to do at present is not so much to speak of Christ as to let him live in us, so that people may find him by feeling how he lives in us."
For further information and/or answers to possible questions, please refer to FAQs and Contact Us.