The Diocese of Des Moines
What a celebration! Party for Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program held yesterday
October 4, 2010
Written By: Trish Radke

Yesterday afternoon, the home of Gerry and Mary Lou Neugent was filled with rhythmic sounds of an Iraqi “Peace” band, the smells of Persian, African and Nepalese cuisine, and stories of strength, courage and heart.

Yesterday was a celebration of Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program, a program that’s future was in question just five months ago.
“This is what we are called to do,” said Nancy Galeazzi, executive director of Catholic Charities, about the Board of Directors decision in May to continue the program independently.
“Thank you to Bishop Pates who was so supportive in the continuation of this program which is so important to so many.”
Dil Subba, a refugee from Bhutan, was at the gathering with her husband and two children. Subba spoke about their life in a refugee camp for 18 years and her gratitude for programs such as Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program.
Patrick Muyej, a Case Manager with the Refugee Resettlement Program and a former refugee, also spoke about his journey from The United Republic of Congo to a refugee camp, imprisonment, his opportunity to come to the US as a refugee and his enthusiasm to join the US Army. “I wanted to show my appreciation and was proud to fight for this country and for the freedom we experience here,” said Muyej. 
More than 50 people were in attendance at the late afternoon gathering generously hosted by Gerry & Mary Lou Neugent in Des Moines. Attendees celebrated the contributions of refugees in Iowa, discussed opportunities for the program moving forward and stood in solidarity with those suffering because of war and persecution.
Dil Subba, a refugee from Bhutan                "Peace Band" - members are refugees from Iraq
and Sanjita Shrestha, Employment/
Program Coordinator for Refugee
Resettlement Services 
Bishop Pates, Mary Lou & Gerry Neugent      Suku & Dr. Mary Radia, Ambassador Kenneth  
listen to Dil Subba speak of her experience     Quinn, Barbara Decker and Kathy Zumbach
coming to Iowa as a refugee Save to


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