Who We Are, What We Do

Our purpose is found in our name, ‘kataluma’, a very old Greek word which refers to a guest lodge or guest room where visitors can lay down their load, be fed, sit for conversation, sleep, and prepare for the next stage of their journey. A kataluma was (usually) part of a home rather than a commercial inn or other more institutional forms of housing/lodging for migrants and travelers.
In two of the Gospel accounts, a kataluma is both the setting of Jesus’s birth (‘no room in the kataluma’ of Luke 2:7) as well as the eve of his death (the upper room kataluma of the last Passover supper of Mark 14:14).

Kataluma orients and roots our vision and mission in these events and stories, as well as with the ancient encounter between Sarah and Abraham and their three mysterious guests, the parable of the Good

PREPARING A PLACE

Samaritan, biblical teachings on migration, exile, hospitality, how to regard and treat foreigners, and the biblical reminder that we may well be ‘entertaining angels unawares’.

Our Vision

‘Seek the Welfare of the City’ Jeremiah 29:7

Kataluma holds that the giving and receiving of well-ordered migration hospitality should benefit and be a natural part of the wider society. We aspire to see the increase of radical, relational hospitality for the shared benefit of refugee guests and the various people and groups who serve as hosts.
Though professional, governmental, and commercial institutions play an important role in hospitality, we envision a local culture-revival with increased engagement of common citizens and various civic and religious communities who cooperate in providing a thoughtful and dignified reception of newcomers into our society.

‘Love the stranger, for you were strangers’

We imagine our country and local communities can be humble, generous, open, and compassionate towards refugees and those who seek asylum. At the same time, we believe the care and love of one’s home and country is the best prerequisite for offering a good and wise welcome. Despite the dark, bloody injustices and failures of hospitality in our history, this love involves gratitude for and stewardship of the best of our cultural and legal heritage, our security, and of the land. We hope for a healthier, wiser society where these various concerns of the heart and the head are not pitted against each other but integrated. We endeavor to work this out in our little patch of the greater Boston area!
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Our Mission

The primary, practical expression of our hospitality has been in the establishment or support of hospitality houses in the greater Boston area that provide safe, temporary, transitional lodgings for refugees and asylum seekers—especially new arrivals. These homes can also provide a setting for local residents and institutions to practice and develop our capacity for relationally rich hospitality.
Our main mission-provision comes through the three primary offerings of shelter, food, and friendship:

❖ to provide or assist with finding safe and dignified lodgings
❖ to provide food and share meals together
❖ to offer ‘social capital’ or friendship

Kataluma ran a brief, pilot Guest House of its own in 2020;  we look to reopen a main Guest House and Kataluma headquarters in 2024 and 2025, even as we continue to support homemaking, transitional housing, and shared case management for refugee guests in various ways in the greater Boston area.

Meet Our Board And Officers

Ujunwa Anakwenze, our senior Board member, resides in NYC but has also lived in Nigeria, England, Alabama, and Boston. Her involvement with Kataluma is inspired by her own experiences as an immigrant and the biblical way of hospitality. She is currently studying to become a clinical psychologist with a focus on Black and immigrant populations, trauma-related concerns,  and psychosis. She is currently a Ph.D. student in clinical psychology at Fordham University, holds a M.A. degree in Psychology from Fordham University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Harvard University.

Emma Becker, our Clerk, is a native of Vermont but has made her home in the greater Boston area since 2017 and works as a Publisher at Wiley Publishing. She is a member of Church of the Cross in Boston, and has volunteered generously and most helpfully with Kataluma in various capacities since 2018.

Gregg Detwiler lives north of Boston and has been an advisor, consultant, and  team member for Kataluma from our early formation in 2016 to the present. He is the founding Director of Intercultural Ministries of Emmanuel Gospel Center, Boston, and currently serves as Sr. Consultant in intercultural ministry, leadership health, and organizational development. Gregg was a Presbyter in the Southern New England Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God, and received his DMin in Diaspora Missiology from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.

Bryan Weathers, our Treasurer, lives in Boston but has also lived in New Jersey, Djibouti, and Michigan. Bryan’s multiform experience includes business, ministry, government service, being a youth director, and serving as an EMT and combat medic for the Army National Guard.

Gary Moorehead is Founder-Director of Kataluma. He was formerly a case manager for Refugee Immigration  Ministry in  Boston,  a program manager for Shelter For Life International and director of the Marigold Fund, Afghanistan where he worked on building homes and civic infrastructure with returning refugees. He later served on the staff of Matthew House Refugee Reception Services in Toronto, and the Greater Boston Refugee Ministry of Emmanuel Gospel Center. He has resided in Ohio, Northern Ireland, England, Ontario, Afghanistan, and currently lives in Boston and Downeast Maine.

Luis Villalta has lived in Boston for twenty-four years but was born and lived the first eighteen years of his life in Puerto Rico.  Luis is a Test Development Engineer for Teradyne, Inc. – his brain power is a considerable asset to us! He is a former deacon at his church, worship leader, and has intercultural & interdenominational ministry experience.

Your Inquiries and Contributions Matter

If you have inquiries, a desire to contribute, or an interest in learning more about our work, we encourage you to reach out to us. Your engagement is valued, and we warmly welcome your interest and involvement in helping Kataluma to create a supportive community of hosts and guests!

YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT IS NEEDED!
Though designated funds may be accepted by special arrangement, money raised goes towards the general program and operations fund.
STAY IN TOUCH
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