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'Dear Friends' April 2010

Week of April 5, 2010
  

The Dazzling Light of Easter

Dear Friends:

      The concluding prayer of Pope Benedict's address on Good Friday is one that speaks to a lot of caregivers and care-receivers:

       "Grant us, Lord, to carry our cross with love, and to carry our daily crosses in the certainty that they have been enlightened by the dazzling light of Easter. Amen."

       You were in our thoughts and prayers at Mass on Easter. Please keep us in yours.

 - - -

        We're so pleased to welcome Carrie W. of Massachusetts as the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver.  Please keep her and her intentions in your prayers. She has promised to pray for you and yours.
       Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
       You can:

        sign up on-line here
       
        or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)
      
        or print and mail an application form.

       God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Materials order form
Past "Dear Friends" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of April 12, 2010
  

Taxes, Camels, Straws and Caregiving

Dear Friends:

      This Thursday, April 15, is the deadline for filing federal income taxes here in the United States. And, more locally, here in Washington state the legislature has been considering adding a sales tax on beer, gum, candy and more. Proponents point out the increase -- a fraction of a percent -- is miniscule.
       Alone, it is. Added to taxes already on the books, it isn't.
       That had us thinking about how "taxing" -- at times -- caregiving can be and how at first glance one more small duty can appear miniscule, too.
       Likewise, it is. And isn't.
       Who makes that determination? You do. No one else can. From the outside looking in, it may seem this additional chore is no big deal. From the inside looking out, if you've reached your limit, it is. (The proverbial straw that threatens to break the camel's back.) What is that "limit"? Again, only you can say. And sometimes you have to say. Not only for your sake but for the sake of your care-receiver. You want what's best for him or her and a caregiver on the edge of burnout helps neither of you.
        It can be hard to admit that you can't do everything you want to do as a caregiver. It can be hard to tell your care-receiver you can't do everything he or she wants you to do. (And hard to say "no" to other family members or health-care professionals who can seem to assume your energy, time, and resources are limitless.)
       Here are three topics that may help you say "no" when that's exactly what needs to be said. The first is "The Stages of Caregiving", the second is "Stress", and the third is "Guilt."

 - - -

        This week we're happy to welcome Marie S. of New South Wales, Australia, as the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver.  Please keep her and her intentions in your prayers. She has promised to pray for you and yours.
       Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
       You can:

        sign up on-line here
       
        or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)
      
        or print and mail an application form.

       God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Materials order form
Past "Dear Friends" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of April 19, 2010
  

Caregiver as Dragon-Slayer

Dear Friends:

      This Friday, April 23, is the feast of a saint whose exploits are more than epic, they've grown into the stuff of legend . . . and myth. St. George lived in the Middle East in the early centuries of the Church, not medieval Europe. He died for the faith but -- we feel pretty safe speculating -- he never slew a dragon.
       As the authors of "Saint of the Day" explain: "The story of George's slaying the dragon, rescuing the king's daughter and converting Libya is a twelfth-century Italian fable. George was a favorite patron saint of crusaders, as well as of Eastern soldiers in earlier times. He is a patron saint of England, Portugal, Germany, Aragon, Catalonia, Genoa and Venice."
       Caregivers are known to battle their share of "dragons," too, aren't they?
       From the multi-headed monster known as the phone system (trying to get a straight answer from an HMO for example: "For information about a policy, press 1. For a list of available physicians in your area, press 2. For inquiries about payments . . . ") . . .
       . . . to the fire-breathing boss who doesn't want to hear excuses about why you have to leave work early again today . . .
       . . . to that behemoth of fear or guilt or exhaustion ready to pounce . . .
       . . . to . . . .
       You get the idea.
       Care-receivers also face dragons. Chronic pain, for example. Or an incurable disease. Or ever-increasing dementia.
       Some days, and nights, a fierce, dinosaur-like creature would seem like a welterweight opponent compared to the real challenges facing you and your care-receiver. It would almost be a relief to grab a sword and lance and -- adrenaline pumping -- have at it!
       Please know that neither of you is going into battle alone. As we've written many times before: Worldwide, members of the Friends of St. the Caregiver are praying for you and your loved one.

- - -

       Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
       You can:

        sign up on-line here
       
        or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)
      
        or print and mail an application form.

       God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Materials order form
Past "Dear Friends" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of April 26, 2010
  

The 'Mary' Month of May

Dear Friends:

      Once again, and right on schedule, the lilacs are in full bloom here in western Washington state. Somehow those blossoms -- their colors and scent -- always take us back to the May crownings of our youth. Bringing flowers of the fairest and rarest to honor our Blessed Mother. As we noted in a "Dear Friends" letter a couple of years ago:

       Although May is a form of "Mary," the name comes from the Latin for the "month of Maia," the Roman goddess of grain. The people of ancient Rome celebrated the first day of May by honoring Flora, the goddess of flowers, who was represented by a small statue wreathed in garlands. A procession of singers and dancers carried the statue past a sacred tree decorated with blossoms. Later, festivals of this kind spread to other parts of Europe, reaching their height of popularity in England during the Middle Ages. Dances around a May pole were common and, often, a May queen was chosen as part of the festivities.
      Devotions to Our Lady on the first days of May date back to St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) [feast day May 26] who began the custom of decorating the statue of Mary with spring flowers. Annibale Dionisi, an Italian Jesuit, proposed devotions to Mary throughout the entire month. As happened with other pre-Christian customs and festivals, the Church incorporated the earlier May celebrations and gave them a Christian dimension. May began to be celebrated in honor of Mary with many of the same type of festivities, including floral tributes, processions and the crowning of a statue.

    That quote is from "Encyclopedia of Mary" (Our Sunday Visitor, 2007), a book we spent many, many months researching and writing. What we discovered -- not to our surprise -- is that Mary has been loved and honored since apostolic times.
    When we began the Friends of St. John the Caregiver we knew that asking for the Blessed Mother's help and intercession would be central to assisting caregivers and care-receivers.
    Our Lady in Need, pray for us!

- - -

     If you'd like a free holy card and prayer to Our Lady in Need, just send us an-email or give us a call. We'd be happy also to send you a free copy (or two or three or more) of "The Little Book of Caregiver Prayers."

Prayer to Our Lady in Need,
Patroness of Care-receivers

My Dear Mother, as you stood at the foot
of the cross in need of help, your Son asked
St. John to become your caregiver.
Be with me now in my time of need.
Pray for me and for all care-receivers,
that we can accept assistance from others
as gratefully and graciously as you did. Amen.

- - -

       This week we're so pleased to welcome two new members to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. "Hello" to Cathie M. in Quebec, Canada; and Betty L. in Tennessee. Please keep them and their intentions in your prayers. They have promised to pray for you and yours.
       Also, we cordially invite you to join! (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
       You can:

        sign up on-line here
       
        or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)
      
        or print and mail an application form.

       God bless you!

                                                          Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Materials order form
Past "Dear Friends" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

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