AN ODE TO DEAR FATHER CATALANO
How can I believe you have died and left us forever?
I have had the greatest fortune, in this crazy world, to have met you and worked with you
People told us we were crazy to work for the homeless and unwanted people in
This slum area in the south of Colombo! And you would say:
Yes we are crazy, we love being crazy but we are helping others who have nothing but problems.
You gave me hope and understanding; you gave me a new life worth living for
You took time to teach me what true life really is,
You showed me the joy and the reward in helping others,
The satisfaction you get from just making others happy,
To see their eyes sparkle.
You gave hope and understanding to thousands of others, you did not choose,
Drug addicts, elders, children, many of them homeless, young and old, mothers and fathers.
Fr. Catalano, you are an exceptional man with white hair, gentle and a smiling glance.
…here you can meet Jesus, eye to eye , face to face
In the poor, ill or hungry, drug addict, prostitute or prisoner
I always remember you told us
Please don’t look at their colour, don’t look at their caste, don’t look at their religion
Don’t look at who they are or where they come from.
Find out what they need, listen to them
Look through the evil and find the goodness in them,
They need help, we must give them help, it is not complicated
You came from another country and gave your heart and your life for others.
We thank you and praise you for your wonderful work.
It is only your tired body that has died, you still live in my heart
I love you and think of you every day.
I will cherish my memories of you forever
With much love
Fr. Michele Catalano founded SHANTI on 16 July 1977 – a non sectarian, non political & non-profit making voluntary social service organization as a conduit to convey the LOVE of the Supreme Being to the sad, the lonely & the forgotten.
The Spirit of the Lord leavens man and elevates the temperature of LOVE in the world
Fr. Michael Catalano sj