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August 18, 2022 — Spirit & Verse is a monthly column of original poem-prayers composed by Cameron Bellm, a Seattle-based writer and mother of two whose “Prayer for a Pandemic went viral, bringing solace and comfort to many struggling during COVID-19.

St. Alberto Hurtado, whose feast day is August 18, was a Chilean Jesuit priest known for his engagement with Chilean culture and his work with young adults and the poor. He is best known for founding Hogar de Cristo, houses for the poor. Learn more about his life.

A Prayer for the Feast of St. Alberto Hurtado

“Christ stumbles through our streets,” Alberto Hurtado said,

And he saw Christ everywhere he looked.

“Christ has no home,” Alberto Hurtado said,

So he built one to welcome everyone alone in the night.

“Through our works,” Alberto Hurtado said,

“The people will know that we understand their pain.”

And he always carried with him the salve of solidarity.

God of lovingkindness, let us see you as Alberto Hurtado did:

A hearth by which all can warm themselves,

A home from which no one is turned away.

May we keep the fire stoked and sparking,

The door propped open, porch light aglow.


Previous Spirit & Verse poem-prayers:
Ignatius and the Stars: A Prayer for the Close of the Ignatian Year
A Prayer for Gun Reform
A Prayer for the Visitation
A Prayer for Holding and Being Held by the Earth
A Prayer for Liminal Spaces
Answer the Knock: An Advent Prayer
Mary, Mother of Us All
A Prayer for World Day of Migrants and Refugees
A Prayer for Peace When the World is on Fire
A Prayer for the Ignatian Year
A Prayer for the Month of the Sacred Heart
A Prayer for Mary’s Month During a Pandemic
St. Joseph Prayer
A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
A Prayer for the Feast of the Epiphany
A Prayer for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
A Prayer for the Month of the Holy Souls
A Prayer for Living “Fratelli Tutti”
Our Lady of Sorrows
A Prayer for the Beginning of the School Year
A Prayer for the Feast of St. Ignatius

Cameron Bellm is a Seattle-based writer of prayers, poems, and devotionals. After completing her Ph.D. in Russian literature at the University of California, Berkeley, she traded the academic life for the contemplative life, informed by Ignatian spirituality and Catholic social teaching. She is the author of “A Consoling Embrace: Prayers for a Time of Pandemic” (23rd Publications, 2020). Cameron and her husband have two young sons, and, blessedly, playing with Legos often nurtures her spiritual life as much as reading the lectionary. You can find her at and on Instagram, @cameronbellm.