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'Dear Friends' December 2009

Week of December 7, 2009
  

Getting Ready for -- Heaven Help You! -- Christmas

Dear Friends:

       When someone already has a schedule that's more than jam-packed and far beyond stressful, adding a new item that takes more time and energy can seem overwhelming. And, often, that's how it is for a caregiver at Christmas.
       That's how it may be for you over the next few weeks.
       And that's why we were so pleased to come across an article published on the Caregiver Assistance Network, a program of Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio. Titled "Holiday Hurdles," it offers some wonderfully practical and encouraging advice for facing Christmas and New Year's as a caregiver:

       Youíre already walking your "holiday" walk -- slumped forward, as if the weight of planning and preparing for the holidays rests squarely on your shoulders. The approaching holiday season is stressful anyway, but with your concerns and worries and caregiving responsibilities, the stress can be overwhelming.
       When planning for this yearís holiday season, keep in mind the real purpose of the holiday: To enjoy and celebrate our life and those we share it with. To ensure your time is well spent with those you love, here are some suggestions to help you relieve stress during the holidays, as well as year-round.

       We encourage you to read more here. (It won't take much of your time. And it's stress-free.)

- - -

        Skip the Mall! Free Christmas Gifts Here!
      
Friends of St. John the Caregiver holy cards, prayer cards and prayer books:
          --make great stocking stuffers,
          --are ideal for including in Christmas cards,
          --and are the perfect accompaniment for those tins of
              Christmas cookies youíre giving to family, friends
              and neighbors.
       Order yours today! Free means free! The items are free and the shipping is free, too.

 - - -

      Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver, too. (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 December 14, 2009
  

A Tip-of-the-Hat!

Dear Friends:

       This week we want to give a tip-of-the-hat to the people who donate to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (As you probably know, FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com, CatholicCaregivers.com and our membership organization.) In late November/early December we send out an Annual Appeal letter and besides receiving donations (God bless our donors!), we also often get an update on how a caregiver and his or her care-receiver are doing. We really appreciate those notes and letters.
       When we began FSJC in 2005, folks who are knowledgeable in the field of non-profits told us to remember a key was "friend-raising" before "fund-raising."
       How true that is. And how wonderful to have so many friends, worldwide, who want to help caregivers and those receiving care.
       You can find a copy of our Annual Appeal letter here. And there's a donation form here. You can also donate on-line.
       We invite you to donate. Your contribution does make a difference and it's truly appreciated.
       A donation in someone's name makes a great Christmas gift. And we'll send him or her a Christmas card pointing out what a thoughtful person you are!

- - -

        Skip the Mall! Free Christmas Gifts Here!
      
Friends of St. John the Caregiver holy cards, prayer cards and prayer books:
          --make great stocking stuffers,
          --are ideal for including in Christmas cards,
          --and are the perfect accompaniment for those tins of
              Christmas cookies youíre giving to family, friends
              and neighbors.
       Order yours today! Free means free! The items are free and the shipping is free, too.

 - - -

      Again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver, too. (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 December 21, 2009
  

 Sunday, December 27
Happy Feast Day,
St. John the Caregiver!

That First, and Last, Christmas

Dear Friends:

      You've probably seen them. Perhaps you've given one or two. And you may even have a few tucked away with all your other Christmas decorations. It's the "Your First Christmas" Or "Baby's First Christmas" keepsake ornament. A nice gift (and clever marketing). When we spotted some on sale in the store last week it occurred to us that there's no "Your Last Christmas" equivalent for obvious reasons.
       We don't want to think about death on this holy day that celebrates a birth, on this holiday filled with life. Then, too, we know when the first Christmas for a loved one is, but we really don't know when the last one will be -- when it was -- until he or she has died.
       Still, just as that first one was a blessing for the family, so is the last.
       This week our thoughts and prayers are with all families who, unknown to them, will be marking that "last" Christmas for one of their members. The last one with one of their members . . . in a way.
       In another way, of course, that member -- and all our loved ones now in heaven -- join in a united, Communion-of-Saints celebration marking the birth of the Prince of Peace, with the Alpha and the Omega who's there on our first earthly Christmas and our last one. And after that we, like our loved one who have already gone before us, are with him in a new and glorious way on every Christmas until the end of time. And beyond.
       This week we're also praying in particular for former caregivers who are facing that first Christmas since the death of their care-receivers. May they know that their loved ones are celebrating Christmas 2009 with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. With Mary, with Joseph, with all the angels and saints. May they know that the love they shared with their dear one didn't die with his or her passing away because God is love and God is eternal.

- - -

       Want to give your care-receiver a Christmas gift that's truly priceless? You could:
        1. Attend Christmas Mass with him or her. Or if the two of you can't make it on Christmas, try next Sunday. It's the feast of the Holy Family. December 27th is also the feast of the St. John the Apostle who is St. John the Caregiver. The Sunday feast supersedes the daily feast. (Just like a caregiver, putting others ahead of himself or herself!)
        2. Arrange to have his or her parish bring Holy Communion on a regular basis if that's not already happening. (Have you ever asked the parish about your becoming an extraordinary of the minister of the Eucharist so you can bring your loved one Holy Communion? Check it out!)
       3. Arrange with the parish to have the priest come by for the Anointing of the Sick or find out when the parish celebrates that sacrament as a community and go with your loved one. (You can read more about that wonderful sacrament here and here.)

- - -

       Thank you for the wonderful, and ongoing, response to this year's Annual Appeal for the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. As you probably know, FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com, CatholicCaregivers.com and our membership organization.
       You can find a copy of our Annual Appeal letter here. And there's a donation form here. You can also donate on-line.
       We invite you to donate. Your contribution does make a difference and it's truly appreciated.

       - - -

       Please join us in welcoming the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver: Judith G. in Michigan. 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, too. (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 December 28, 2009
  

Mary, Mother of God and Aging Parent

Dear Friends:

      This Friday, New Year's day, is the feast of Mary, Mother of God, who -- in her later years on earth -- was an aging parent and widow whose only child had died. As you well know, it was St. John who assumed the role of her caregiver, accepting that duty on a horrible Friday afternoon on Calvary.
       Any of Mary's feasts offers a good reminder that it's never easy being a care-receiver, even if you're the Mother of God. Not a few care-receivers who had been caregivers have told us that it was much, much easier being a caregiver. And, as every caregiver knows, caregiving isn't easy!
       In a calm and quiet moment, it's good to thank your care-receiver for accepting your help. To acknowledge that you know care-receiving is a tough position to be in. To remind your loved one that you want to help, that he or she is not a burden!, even though, at times, caregiving has its challenges.
       Just send us a note or give us a call if you'd a free copy of the holy card that has a prayer to Our Lady in Need. It reads:

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.

- - -

       We've posted a new Topic, "Your Parent's Generation" that examines why Mom and Dad -- and their peers -- look at things the way they do. Here's an excerpt:

       Members of each generation who come from the same or a similar culture share common experiences that influence how they think, how they act, and what they see as rock-bottom truth. Look at your parentís life history to better understand him or her. Keeping Dadís or Momís childhood, adolescent, and early adult experiences in mind will help when youíre taking care of your parent now.
     This is especially true for families with strong ethnic or cultural backgrounds. Adult children of immigrants need to be aware of the fact that life has changed dramatically from their parentsí generation to their own.
 

       You can read more here.

- - -

       We've also posted the new monthly material at CatholicCaregivers.com. The subject for January's flier is also "Your Parent's Generation." There are new Bulletin Briefs and Prayers of Intercession, too.

- - -

       Thank you for the wonderful, and ongoing, response to this year's Annual Appeal for the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. As you probably know, FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com, CatholicCaregivers.com and our membership organization.
       You can find a copy of our Annual Appeal letter here. And there's a donation form here. You can also donate on-line.
       We invite you to donate. Your contribution does make a difference and it's truly appreciated.

 - - -

       Here's an easy New Year's resolution: Become a member of 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
 

 

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