Appreciation for Brad Grabs

To Brad: What an inspiration you are to us and to many others. We love you.

Kris and Lynn Cheatum


I’ve always appreciated the sacred hospitality that Brad has fostered at Shalom House. As a social worker at Wyandot Center, I have used Shalom House as a shelter for some of those with whom I have worked. Since some struggle with addiction, it was good to know that Brad was there to welcome them into a culture of sobriety and serenity with clear boundaries. Plus, I simply marvel at the faithfulness it would take to live and work there for 10 years!

Charles Carney



You have allowed me to truly witness what selfless service looks like. You have been a great example to my children and my family as a servant leader in our community. I thank you for providing so much leadership and support to the men of the Shalom House and I pray that my children will have a great desire to carry on what they have learned from you and your giving heart.

May God bless all that you do,
Case Dorman
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue


I came to know Brad some years ago as the Regional Hospitaller for the Order of Malta and we began offering our members the opportunity to participate in the meal service at Shalom House.

Brad’s dedication and working with Mary K Meyer was an inspiration to all of us. With his background from the University of Notre Dame, which many of our people also have, and his dedication to servicing the poor and the homeless lends an outstanding example of service and what life is all about.

I expect to continue supporting Shalom House and Brad in any way that we possibly can.

John T. Massman
Regional Hospitaller
Order of Malta, Federal Association


We met Brad years ago at Shalom House when our kids were little. I was touched by his quiet, gentle yet STRONG spirit. Over the years as our kids grew I could see he and Mary Kay’s relationship grow.

Their love and mutual respect for one another shined forth. They shared a love for social justice and worked hard to make a positive difference. There relationship was BEAUTIFUL.

After Brad started the after school program his face would light up when he was asked about it.

We also were present after his return in his work for peace in Columbia. He was sharing about his experience and he had just found out that some of the people he had lived and worked with were brutally killed. I was amazed at how God was holding him and his strength to share and continue to work tirelessly. I feel blessed to know Brad and I am thrilled our kids have had the honor of such a wonderful role model. We love you Brad!

David and Terri Goddard and Family


You were an honors student from Notre Dame and could have done anything with your life. You have dedicated your life to community service and charity. I greatly admire your decision to take this route. Your life experiences are much richer than those of us who have pursued the life of focusing on material goals. Keep up the great work!

Tony and Barbara Abbate


In the 1990’s I can remember Mary K telling me about this young high school teacher at Rockhurst, for whom teaching about justice was increasingly not enough; how he connected with Shalom and finally
discerned giving up his work, his income, and moving in. A young man, putting security aside, and entering ministry, full time at SHALOM.

Of course, Brad didn’t stop there, but also developed the learning club at old Blessed Sacrament School, worked with immigrants….etc. etc! Many wonderful volunteers come, work hard, and move on from Shalom, always changed. Brad stayed 10 years, sharing his quiet, patient strength, organization, energy and deep spiritual reservoir.

I was never more touched than while observing Brad’s accompaniment of Mary K during her final illness. He fully supported Mary K’s wishes to wind up her life in her style…staying as busy as she was able to
be to the end. Brad patiently allowed Mary K’s letting go process and her beautiful death. Now, a year and four months later, it’s time for this still young man to refocus. I’m so glad for Brad, and I am so glad for everyone whose lives he will continue to touch, including my own!

Gigi Gruenke



As every blossom fades
and all youth sinks
into old age,
so every life’s design,
each flower of wisdom,
every good attains its prime
and cannot last forever.
In life, each call the heart
must be prepared courageously
without a hint of grief,
submit itself to other new ties.
A magic dwells in each beginning,
protecting us
tells us how to live.

High purposed we must traverse
realm on realm,
cleaving to none as to a home,
the world of spirit
wishes not to fetter us
but raise us higher,
step by step.
Scarce in some safe
accustomed sphere of life
have we establish a house,
then we grow lax;
only he who is ready
to journey forth
can throw old habits off.
Maybe death’s hour too
will send us out new-born
towards undreamed-lands,
maybe life’s call to us
will never find an end.
Courage my heart,
take leave and fare thee well

Liebe Grube,


I lived with Brad for 4 months in Shalom House and I first met him in my hometown Hamburg in Germany.

Brad could make people do chores like mopping the floor or cleaning the bathroom by just asking them. He would ask you so nicely that you can’t say no and you just do it. You can’t resist his kindness.

When he’s in the room people treat each other nicer and show their best manners.

He is a very good friend and Catholic Worker and whatever he does or says is always with the best intentions. I wish all my friends were more like him.

The fact that the Learning Club was his idea and that he’s so dedicated to it says a lot about who he is and how much compassion he’s got.

He helped so many kids in our neighborhood to have goals, visions and work hard to acheive them.

Miro Heyink


I met Brad the first time I served dinner at Shalom House about 8 or 9 years back. My first and third grade son and daughter were also helping and I watched as Brad interacted with the young and old, male and female, Spanish speaking and those not able to speak– he served all with the utmost kindness and patience. I tried to figure out his age at that time and decided he was somewhere between 25 and 45! He looked young but carried that air of an “old soul in a young body.”

Over the years my heart has been moved by his “gentle strength” and my conscience has been tugged by the manner in which he lives his faith—it calls me to accountability, and gives me cause to slow down and listen to what God will ask for me to do for the least of all people.

I believe that one of Brad’s greatest gifts is that he is an active listener. Whether a kid is telling a detailed, LONG story about their afternoon escapades or an adult is sharing the struggles of simply trying to live, Brad listens with his whole person. One definition of humility is “knowing the truth about yourself, about others and about the world”. The world will continue to be blessed by this humble man and I thank God that our paths crossed.

Stephanie Pino-Dressman


For quite a few years I would stop to visit staff and guests at Shalom House. It was always an interesting and wonderful experience, especially at suppertime and the relaxing times before and after the meal. It was neat listening to Brad give announcements in Spanish and was a blessing watching him interact with the men – many of whom were Hispanic. And Brad was a wonderful friend and support to Mary Kay. Running a homeless shelter for 25 folks is not the easiest job in KC.

In peace,
Tom Haebig
West Bend, Wi.



  1. kdseipel said

    Brad entered into the community of Shalom House the same week that I left Shalom and Kansas City to go back east in the summer of ’98. Though I didn’t get to know him well in those first days, I was struck immediately by how Brad’s gentle, attentive presence brought a strong sense of peace to the community. Over the years I have heard about Brad’s work at Shalom and in the wider community, and I witnessed his accompaniment of Mary K in the last months of her life. In his reflections on this web site, he has articulated so well the growth that comes from being an active witness to life at Shalom, and I know that Brad has had a hand in the growth of so many people with whom he has connected. That sounds like resurrection at work to me.

    Kathleen Dolan Seipel

  2. clare.noel said


    I feel so blessed to call Brad Grabs a friend. We met when we moved into the Shalom House together in August of 1998. My tenure only lasted a year, but it was one of the most formative of my life. Brad taught me lessons of love, patience, and kindness. For that, I am forever grateful. This community is so incredibly lucky to have Brad as one of our own.

    Clare Murphy Shaw

  3. Bernadette Stankard said

    A gem at all times from hidden object games to hanging clothes to making beds to crazy jokes to talking about things that matter and to supporting one another and to listening when no one else would and to dogs and sleeping in the basement and to just loving each other no matter what. Here’s to continuing to cherish each other in the good times and bad. I love you.

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