Catholic Charities : Diocese of Des Moines
Easter Volunteer Poem
April 7, 2015

Our dedicated volunteer, Pat Sullivan, is a prolific poet. A recent poem during Holy Week captures his relationship with God and how it manifests in his family and volunteer work. We are blessed to have Pat as part of the Catholic Charities family. Our volunteers are the lifeblood of our mission providing food, clothing, shelter, and counsel to those in need in the Diocese.


As I leave the incessant chatter of daily life

and perform the mundane duties of everyday life

allow the capacity for Your presence

to expand into the emptiness of my soul

and give me the wisdom and compassion 

only Your will can give

as I begin to understand the gifts given

and the wonder and joy of their compassionate use


to see the needs of newly arrived refugees

without any thing but new found energy

after years of living in refugee camps

and tolerating all forms of cruelty and abuse

hoping that the 'new life' will rescue them.

give me Your vision to understand 

what simple tasks need done

to help settle my refugee neighbors

asking for nothing but the chance

of a better life for their families


to feel the energy of loving grandchildren

grasping for the loving arms of 'papa'

giving them each their own individual moments

that give them assurance they are loved and important

as they begin to engage the world 

secure in belief they belong and are loved

already firm in the unfettered conviction

that they will do well in the world

and I can feel blessed 

that they will have a good opportunity


and to know that a wonderful angel from God

was given to me nearly forty years ago

to help and support each other 

as we make our journey back to Him

with patience and love

able to maintain the values of life

showing our children the importance

of doing the right thing each day

whether seemingly mundane or not

that these simple things are the framework of life

and from them will flow greater things 


and in the relative quiet 

having quelled the urgency of individual pursuit

and given the view of His will over mine

I find simple joy in the humble tasks

that come forth from life's daily grind

and surface with clarity that He gave to me

and allow me to accomplish what He needs me to do 

and fill me with grace that overflows in love

that gives energy for what He needs me to do Save to


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