Agape Community

Ware, Massachusetts, United States

  • Last updated: December 4, 2015 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement

Sustainability and Nonviolence

Community Description

Founded in 1982, Agape is a lay Catholic nonviolent community dedicated to prayer, poverty, nonviolent education and ministry, and witnessing in the world. We are ecumenical and interfaith in orientation.
We accept volunteers for any length of time to work in our garden and assist with homesteading, including maintenance of our two buildings, St. Francis House and St. Brigid House (a straw bale house with solar energy and a composting toilet). We drive a car that runs on vegetable oil.
We welcome interns for stays of three months to a year. Currently, we are interested in a full commitment of nine months. We live on 32 acres of land in the Quabbin Reservoir in central Massachusetts.
We support ourselves through a nonviolent education ministry, donations and grants–which includes outreach to inner-city youths and adults–retreats, and other programs at the community. We host a variety of educational groups who are interested in sustainability.
We pray together, study Scripture, and witness out of this base against all forms of violence.
We welcome people who have a yearning for a community life based on prayer, simplicity, and nonviolence. No TV or commercial radio but lots of music and a definite love of art in all its forms.
Those drawn to Agape will interact with hundreds of people throughout the year, including college students who attend Agape’s twice-yearly retreats. Office work, computer assistance, gardening, homesteading of all kinds, and public witness and outreach are a part of our lives, as is contact with children.

We publish a community journal, Servant Song, and we are interested in the links between sustainability, the arts and spirituality, as well as in resistance to war through simple lifestyle.

Our work includes attending vigils for peace and joining in protests, as well as organizing around issues of resistance to violence. We do all of our resistance in the spirit of nonviolence. Contemplation and action are underpinnings of our lives.

We are also beginning a search for a long-term intern who would be able to commit to more than a year of time. We are looking for someone who has community experience, as well as an interest and a background in sustainability and nonviolence. Please contact us for more information if interested.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1982
  • Start Living Together: 1982
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Website address:
  • Contact Name: Suzanne and Brayton Shanley
  • Phone: 413-967-9369
  • Community Address:
    2062 Greenwich Rd
    Ware, Massachusetts, 01082-9309
    United States
  • Location


  • Type(s): Spiritual or Religious Community
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 34 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Current Number of Residences: 2
  • Planned Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building
  • Land owned by: Individual community member(s)
  • Additional Comments:

    Our land is a charitable, educational, religious non-profit.


  • Adult Members: 4
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process:

    People wishing to visit may call, email or write. Contact information is on our website: We will arrange a mutually compatible time for a visit.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    We welcome all who check our website and/or call or contact by email. A;pplication may be downloaded from our website

  • Additional Comments:

    Christianity, but we are open to all paths. We are ecumenical and interfaith in outreach and incorporate all world religions in our prayer, which is primarily Christian.

    whatever seems feasible


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: Yes
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    Two co-founders are the residents of one house, Brigid House. 12 people are in our Mission Council which is a vision sharing and decision making group for the community


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 0
  • Additional Comments:

    Residents can expect a small stipend for living expenses.

    We cannot pay off college loans

    daily from 9 am – 4pm

    No fee, but donations are always accepted as they are how we survive.

    No regular donations expected.

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Energy sources: Solar
  • Current food produced: From 50-75%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Library, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, community provides it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Not good for most people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Vegetarian Only (no animal meat; dairy and eggs okay) – Please check this only if you are 100% Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Somewhat – there are some dietary restrictions or customs.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    We are vegetarians, though special diets can be accommodated.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Ecumenical (accepts all religions or spiritual practices), Roman Catholic
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual

Additional Comments

We live on 34 acres of land in the Quabbin watershed in Central, MA. Suzanne and Brayton, co-founders, received the annual Paulist Center Isaac Hecker award (Boston) for their devotion to a life of nonviolent community.

Photo Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

Catholic Worker

Community Affiliations

nonviolence, peace, public witness, sustainability, organic gardening, eco-theology