by Sophie Contreras
Many people spend the majority of their lives searching for their passion. Luckily for Professor Christopher Doucot, he found his passion early.
Doucot was inspired by Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan, who lived his life as a contemporary of Christ by actively practicing his faith and anti-war activism.
Doucot decided to live life in a similar way, by promoting nonviolence, peace and helping the less fortunate.
As a college student, Doucot spent his free time volunteering at his local Catholic Worker, in Worcester. He eventually moved into the Catholic Worker home to further contribute to the organization upon graduating.
Doucot then married his wife, Jackie Allen Doucot, and moved to Hartford where he began some of his most impactful work.
Around the early 1990s, Doucot and Jackie decided they wanted to practice their faith in a more serious way. Doucot used a football analogy to describe how he felt and why him and his wife decided to become “players of God’s Kingdom.”
“All around the country on Sunday morning, people gather in a stadium or in their homes to watch football, but that doesn’t make them football players, they are fans of football but the guys on the field are the players because they study and practice it,” said Doucot.
In 1993, Doucot began to live his passion by working with his wife and friend Brian Cavanaugh to open a branch of the Catholic Worker in the north end of Hartford. Their branch is commonly known among locals as the green house.
“We [the green house] try to practice the works of mercy in a daily matter; we share our home, food and clothes with people who need it,” said Doucot. This was evident at the green house, which was filled with children seeking after-school help and volunteers preparing snacks and aiding with homework.
In addition to providing a safe place to get help with homework and an after-school snack, the green house hosts a holiday party and a week at a summer camp. Their goal is to keep the kids of the north end of Hartford out of the streets and gangs.
Richard, a young boy who was been going to the green house for two years, shared some of his favorite things about it,
“My favorite part of the green house is playing basketball with the older kids and circle,” said Richard.
Doucot explained that everyone will hold hands to form a circle and share something they are grateful for. Richard said he was thankful for the green house.
Besides local work, Doucot does humanitarian work abroad. Doucot and his family have traveled to Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mexico, Palestine and Darfur to provide aid to people America has called enemies. During the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations, Doucot and his family actively protested against the war in Iraq and still promote peace among nations.
Doucot is originally from Boston and during his early life he attended a private Catholic school, then Holy Cross College in Worcester, where he graduated with a degree in religious studies in 1989.
Doucot later went on to graduate from Yale University with a master’s in religion and is now a professor at Central Connecticut State University and several other universities.
“People ask me about the hardest thing I’ve done, and I think it’s been raising our children in a society that values greed and violence, while we try to instill values of sharing and non-violence and communal living,” said Doucot.
Doucot has always kept his family and faith on the top of his priorities through his life, and having these values is what makes Doucot inspirational.