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'Dear Friends' August 2013

Week of August 5, 2013
Prayer Requests 

From Your Care-receiver's Point of View

Dear Friends:

     Over the past few months I've been sorting through some of Monica's things and deciding what to keep, what to keep for now anyway, what to give away, and what to toss. I donated her walker to a local charity but kept the pouch that fit on the front cross bars. Inside one of the pockets was a copy of the Our Lady in Need holy card. It has this prayer on the back:

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.

     During her final year Monica said she had a new appreciation for what care-receivers go through but I think she already had a good idea of what that experience was like.
     As a caregiver, it helped me to remember what she said and wrote. It may help you, too.
     For videos go here:

From a Care-receiver's Point of View: 1

From a Care-receiver's Point of View: 2

     And for a list of Topics that includes items related to a care-receiver's point of view go here.

- - -

     This week we're so pleased to welcome Donna C. 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.
     And 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!

                                                  Bill

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

 

Weeks of August 12 and 19, 2013
Prayer Requests 

When Your Care-receiver Leaves You

Dear Friends:

     (This is a piece for grieving care-receivers that we wrote several years ago.) This Thursday the Church celebrates the feast of the Assumption, Mary's being taken to heaven, body and soul. It's good to consider-- to keep in mind -- that this event also marks the ends of St. John's caregiving duties. That's why the feast of the Assumption is a special day for all caregivers grieving the loss of their loved ones.
      It seems safe to presume that all the members of the early Christian community mourned Mary's leaving them but -- as Our Lady's primary caregiver -- St. John's sorrow, and joy, were unique.
     Sorrow because he missed her. Joy because his faith told him she was now in heaven with her Son. There was that combination of emotions whether or not Mary physically died.
      The Church doesn't say, definitively, one way or another on that issue. As the Encyclopedia of Mary explains, the Assumption is:

     A dogma of faith Pope Pius XII solemnly defined on November 1, 1950. In his apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus, Pius wrote: "We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."
     Pius' use of the phrase "was assumed" indicates that the Assumption is different from Christís Ascension. And his "having completed the course of her earthly life" does not say whether or not Mary actually experienced death.
     Tradition favors the theological opinion that Mary died and was most likely buried near the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. And, as with the body of Christ, her body did not undergo decomposition after her death and burial but was assumed intact. Theologians note that, as in the case of the Resurrection, what the dogma of the Assumption defines is seen as a reality and a truth only by those with the gift of faith, by those who accept and respond to what is contained in Divine Revelation.
     There is no explicit biblical evidence for the Assumption but, based on theological reasoning and Tradition, there is the implicit belief that Christ took his mother to himself at the moment of her leaving this life because she is one declared "full of grace" and the "highly favored daughter" of God the Father (Lk 1:28).

      Of course, the caregiver and care-receiver aspects of this feast aren't just for caregivers whose loved ones have passed away. Many, many caregivers can testify that as their care-receivers have become more ill, their loved ones have "left them," little by little. The loss -- and the grieving -- don't begin with death. It can start weeks, months or years before that day.
     May Our Lady in Need and St. John the Caregiver be with all those whose care-receivers have left them, with all those whose care-receivers are gradually leaving them.

- - -

     This is the Topic that talks more about this: Caregiver Grief: Sorting Out, Moving On, Remembering.

- - -

     This week we're so pleased to welcome Jennylyn G. of California 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.
     And 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!

                                                  Bill

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

Week of August 26, 2013
Prayer Requests 

The Fine Art of Focusing

Dear Friends:

     Last spring I was out for a walk in an unfamiliar neighborhood when a middle-aged woman came out of her house. She was followed by an older woman who had a number of physical disabilities. "It's a beautiful day," I commented and the younger woman agreed. "I heard it's going to rain tomorrow," I added, "but at least we have today."
     The older woman looked at me. "That's all we ever have," she said simply.
      I found that bit of wisdom helpful during this time of grieving since Monica's death in early January. It's the same advice a cousin -- who had caregiver experience -- offered us during Monica's final year. Focus on what you have to do today. On what you can do today.
     Obviously, that doesn't mean don't plan ahead. (You have to make that doctor's appointment, for example!) But it does mean it isn't helpful to become wrapped up, tied up, in what may be coming. Or even what is almost certainly coming.
     By definition a caregiver is concerned about someone and, I know, it's impossible to stop worrying altogether or to completely avoid thinking about what may be in store. Still, realizing you may be a little too focused on what may be, or will be, coming can help you handle what has to be faced today.
     And it can help you better appreciate and wisely spend the time you still have with your loved one.
     "So do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself," Jesus says in Matthew 6:34 (the Jerusalem Bible translation). "Each day has enough troubles of its own."
     Amen!

- - -

     This week we're so pleased to welcome Charles O. of Nigeria and Cynthia L. of Pennsylvania as the newest members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. Please keep them and their intentions in your prayers. They have promised to pray for you and yours.
     And 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!

                                                  Bill

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

 

 

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