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'Dear Friends' February 2009

 

Week of February 2, 2009
  

P.O. Box 320,
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043

Dear Friends:

       It's always a treat to head over to the post office and see what's arrived in box 320. A new FSJC member. A request for prayer books or other material. A note of thanks. A donation.
       The same holds true with our e-mail addresses.
       We don't get much junk mail. We don't receive many spam messages. In an age when "real letters" can seem rare, we're privileged to hear from, and correspond with, people -- caregivers, care-receivers, and those who help both -- all over the world.
       Still, it can take us a little while to reply to a note, to answer a question, to mail back printed material. And we do, on occasion, misplace a letter that was sent to us ("I know I put it on my desk right here!") or click the wrong button and delete -- and have to retrieve -- an e-mail ("Oh, noooooo!")
       Needless to say, that never happens when you send even the fastest and briefest prayer to heaven. "Oh, dear God, help!" for example.
       Our heavenly Father never misplaces a prayer. Never deletes it. Never ignores it. Never fails to answer it . . .  though not always giving the specific response, or solution, you would prefer.
       Caregivers and care-receivers continue to tell us the spiritual side of each vocation includes an increased awareness of the need for prayer and of the presence of God in one's daily life.
         You remain in our prayers. Please keep us in yours.

- - -

       This week we want to welcome five new members to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. "Hello" to Gilberte D. in Massachusetts, Michelle A. in Michigan,  Dolores L. in Washington, Debbie Z. in Ohio, and Carmen T. in the Philippines. (Our first member from that country!)
       Please keep them and their intentions in your prayers. They've promised to pray for caregivers and those receiving care.
       Again this week we invite you to join, too. 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 February 9, 2009
  

World Day of the Sick 2009

Dear Friends:

        As the Catholic Health Association of Canada explains, "Pope John Paul II instituted World Day of the Sick on May 13, 1992, setting aside February 11, Feast of our Lady of Lourdes, for its annual celebration. On this day, the ill are encouraged to reflect on the Christian meaning of suffering. The occasion also provides an opportunity for those involved in health care to recall the roots of their healing mission."
       Needless to say, it's also been an important event for caregivers!
      
We've scoured the Internet looking for information on World Day of the Sick 2009 but can't find anything on an international level. (No statement from Pope Benedict XVI, for example.) There are countries and dioceses marking the event and, of course, parishes are making note of it as well.
       On this Wednesday, Feb. 11th, please know that you -- as a caregiver or care-receiver -- are being prayed for by members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. And on every other day of the year, too!
       This is the World Day of the Sick prayer distributed by the Catholic Health Association of Canada three years ago:

Healer God, all who are sick and burdened come to you.
Heal them with your healing hands.
Touch their souls with your compassion,
their hearts with your courage,
their minds with your wisdom.
Reach out to them in their need,
and help caregivers be a sign
of your presence to them. Amen.

- - -

        Again this week we invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (Now with members in nine countries on four continents!) 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 February 16, 2009
  

A Free, Valuable Coupon for Caregivers!

Dear Friends:

        Caregiving can be filled -- overrun! -- with "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts." You know what we mean. You should do this, this and this. You shouldn't do that, that and that. Or so it seems. The truth is there are some "shoulds" you may consider "shouldn'ts." And high on that list is giving yourself a little break. You really should stop and . . . Have that second cup of coffee. Sit down with your feet up and your eyes closed. Do something just for you!
        We know it can be hard to give yourself permission to do that. It may help to remember that's what Jesus told his apostles to do.

       The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.
       He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.
       So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. (Mark 6:30-32)

       And, if it helps, you have our permission, too. We insist! Here's a coupon you can use as often as you like:

- - -

       This week we want to welcome two new members to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. "Hello" to Margaret F. in South Dakota and Stacia G. in Colorado.
       Please keep them and their intentions in your prayers. They've promised to pray for caregivers and those receiving care.
       Again this week we invite you to join, too. 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 February 23, 2009
  

Garry and Harry

Dear Friends:

        We came across the lovely -- and moving -- film "Garry and Harry" (by Steven Madeja) last week and knew it was one we wanted to share with you, especially if you're helping a loved one who has Alzheimer's.
        As the Web site that hosts the video explains:

       Fathers Garry and Harry Giroux are twin brothers, both Roman Catholic priests in a small town in upstate New York. But in 2004, Father Harry was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, and his brother Father Garry has been his caregiver ever since. "Garry and Harry" explores this fascinating story and the relationship of these brothers as they deal with their faith, family, and hope in the face of tragedy.

 
Garry and Harry by Steven Madeja
from The Nonsense Society on Vimeo.

       The brothers are at St. Mary Church in Potsdam, NY.

- - -

       We have an update on the 17th World Day of the Sick which was Feb. 11th. Pope Benedict XVI issued a message that centered on children who are ill and on the parents and family members who help them. It calls for assisting those caregivers, too! Here's an excerpt (with the emphasis added):

       This year our attention focuses in particular on children, the weakest and most defenseless creatures, and on those of them who are sick and suffering. There are tiny human beings who bear in their bodies the consequences of incapacitating diseases, and others who are fighting illnesses that are still incurable today, despite the progress of medicine and the assistance of qualified researchers and health-care professionals. . . .
       Since the sick child belongs to a family that frequently shares in his or her suffering with serious hardship and difficulties, Christian communities cannot but also feel duty-bound to help families afflicted by the illness of a son or daughter.
       After the example of the "Good Samaritan," it is necessary to bend over the people so harshly tried and offer them the support of their concrete solidarity.
       In this way the acceptance and sharing of suffering is expressed in the practical support of sick children's families, creating in them an atmosphere of serenity and hope and making them feel that they are in the midst of a larger family of brothers and sisters in Christ.
       Jesus' compassion for the widow of Nain (cf. Lk 7:12-17) and for Jairus' supplication (cf. Lk 8:41-56) constitute, among others, useful reference points for learning to share in the moments of physical and moral suffering of the many sorely tried families.

- - -

       And speaking of Christian communities helping family caregivers, the material for March has been posted at CatholicCaregivers.com. As we did last year for Lent, we're using "The Stations of the Cross for Caregivers" for this month's flier/bulletin insert.
       It's also available in booklet form.

- - -

       And speaking of Lent, Ash Wednesday is this week. If you're looking for an on-line Lenten retreat, we still recommend what's offered at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. (And, yes, that's St. John the Caregiver and Our Lady in Need at the foot of the cross in the artwork.)
       Creighton also has "Praying with Someone Who Has Alzheimer's Disease."

- - -

       Want to get a jump on Lent and do something positive? Now's the time to become a member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (No, it's not a penance!)
       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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