by Bonnie Staib.
I lived with Joe Walker both in Combermere and Edmonton and I learned a lot from him. Here are just three examples.
I remember Joe learning photography in Marian Centre Edmonton. He wasn’t very good at it, but he would get a roll of film developed and rejoice over the three or four out of thirty-six shots that turned out well.
I, on the other hand, would have been upset by that success rate. This taught me to treasure whatever gifts I receive.
Joe loved people and wanted so to serve each person he met. People from all over the world come to Madonna House, and he learned how to greet them in many languages. His pronunciation could be atrocious, but he said the words with so much love and a deep welcome for each person—and always with his big smile.
But most of all Joe showed me the beauty of humble love. I remember one day being irritated at a small assortment of memorabilia Joe had sent to the archives where I as working at the time.
He must have been culling his things, and he had been sending up his treasures bit by bit. I wanted to ask him to hold onto them and send them all together.
But then I opened a small notebook in his treasure-trove. It was from the early 1960’s when Joe served in our house in Balmorhea, Texas. I opened to a to-do list Joe had written: The tasks listed were so humble: "Get Mrs. L’s groceries" was the first one. I was awed at the humility that shone through this notebook forty plus years later.
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