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Friday, December 11, 2009

Luv'n My Work

I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to earn a living, a good living, while serving others in need. Many of you know that in addition to being a Catholic Deacon, I am also a Psychiatric Nurse.
10 years ago I was given an opportunity to manage the clinical nursing departments of a Psychiatric Hospital as the Director of Nursing Services. What a blessing that was.
I am able to get up each morning and not only serve 99 patients, but also serve all the staff in my departments (~50 people).
They say that when one is given much, much is also expected. I agree, but having a venue to serve people each day who are in many people's eyes "The Untouchables," gives me a daily reminder of a unique purpose in life.
A day doesn't go by that I am not reminded of the simple pleasures in life. How a smile, a caring touch, a hug, or just simply listening can make the difference in a person's life.
I work with individuals that have nothing.
They own nothing.
They have no one who cares for them.
They often have lost all hope.
They have lost the ability to see joy or a purpose in life.
They suffer beyond what you and I can imagine with their psychosis, their voices, their delusions, their paranoia.
Yet - they persevere, grace finds an opening, it cultivates and they endure.
Then with a little love and care, they piece their lives back together and eventually become whole again. They come back alive..... I can see God in them and in the process.
I have been gifted with this vocation and the ability to get up each day and be a part of the process of healing.
My work is my ministry!
Yes - I work for the church also, and that has additional dynamics, benefits, and opportunities as well. But the uniqueness of being a Catholic Deacon is being able to bring the Faith and the spirituality into the secular workplace.
I often say I am the bridge between the secular and the religious worlds, but more correctly said, I just try to see God in the world around me, "Not just in Church," and share that vision with others.
God is so good!

1 comment:

Deacon Jimmy said...

Deacon Pat,

I applaud you on being able to work and minister. It's got to be a great feeling.
I am a Permanent Diaconate candidate here in Houma, LA (One year to go!)and am just winding up my CPT training. As much apprehension as I had going in to the ministry, I have that same apprehension saying goodbye to my Nursing Home Residents. I cannot believe how much the Holy Spirit empowers and enriches you as you talk to these people and share their lives.
I always was excited at the prospect of being able to preach and break open the Word of God to the people and now I can't wait to finish this final year and get to the work of service! It's better to bring the Word to those who can't get to the Word.
God Bless you and your ministry!