From the Collections

Let’s Get Creative

This is the first of what I hope is to become a series about the creativity of the Maryknoll Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters. The Creative Works and Personal Papers collection of the Fathers and Brothers contain hundreds of different types of materials from books to music, paintings to photographs. For this first post the focus is on poetry, specifically the work of Father Michael Bassano, who has been missioned in Thailand and Africa . One poem that stood out to me is “Called to be Friends” written on July 31, 1999. The poem was dedicated to HIV/AIDS adults and children in the Mercy Center Hospice in Bangkok, Thailand.

“Called to be Friends”

We meet each other and are called to be friends
From this day forward now and forever
Searching for new life we believe never ends
Walking side by side together

No one really knows where the path of life will lead
Trusting intuition is essential in time of need
Learning to be open, living deeply from the heart
Allowing the spirit to always do her part

Her name was Nan, a child just five years old
A priceless gift of life more precious than gold
With a loving heart as big as her smile
Captivating all, though with us a short while

Ekalin and others love to play the guitar
Gifted musicians playing better than most by far
The joy of music filling the place from the start
Uplifting the spirit and enlivening the heart

At a center called “Mercy” we were meant to be united
In friendship sharing our own humanity transcending
Cultures, opening our eyes to see that only with
Compassion can we truly be set free

We meet each other and are called to be friends
From this day forward now and forever
Searching for new life we believe never ends
Walking side by side together

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