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'Dear Friends' March 2011

Week of March 7, 2011
Prayer Requests
  

Fear and Fatigue as Your Lenten Prayers

Dear Friends:

       Whether Ash Wednesday comes early or late, it always seems to come as a surprise. (This year it's March 9.) No doubt there are ways you'd like to observe Lent 2011 but, no doubt, your caregiving obligations mean there are some you simply can't. Maybe you'd like to make it to weekday Mass more often. To set aside time for private prayer. To read the Bible on a daily basis. To cut back on this or that, to give up this or that, to . . .
       We want to point out that what you can do is what you are doing. And what you are doing in so many challenging and personal ways is taking care of your loved one, this beloved son or daughter of our Heavenly Father.
       God knows that's one of the finest Lenten observances possible.
       Our prayer for you this Lent is that you'll better realize that your fears, your fatigue, your anxiety, your perseverance, your words of comfort, your trips to the pharmacy, your dealing with healthcare providers, and all the rest are a litany --a series, a list -- of prayers that you began long before Ash Wednesday 2011 and will continue long after this year's celebration of Easter.
       Be at peace. What you're doing is what God asked you to do.

- - -

      This week we're so pleased to welcome Maria K. of Canada and Barbara S. 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!

                                                          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" letters
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of March 14, 2011
Prayer Requests
  

Celebrating Birthdays and Anniversaries

Dear Friends:

       It was a busy weekend for us as the extended family gathered from across the country to celebrate Monicaís motherís 90th birthday. There were about 30 guests at a family-only dinner on Friday and closer to 70 at a friends-and-family luncheon on Saturday. In between, some of us were able to attend Mass with her on Saturday morning.
       If your loved one is nearing a birthday or anniversary, you may want to take a look at the topic that offers some suggestions for how those occasions can be marked. Among the recommendations are:

       --Let your care-receiver take the lead. Maybe this year your wife would like the extended family to gather to celebrate her turning ďthe big Eight-O.Ē Or maybe she wants only a quiet lunch with you and the immediate family. Ask.

       You can read more here.

- - -

       As we've mentioned before, here are two resources for Lent:
       --Creighton University has daily reflections here.
       --And the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has the readings for daily Mass here.

- - -

      This week we're so pleased to welcome Diane A. of Louisiana 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!

                                                          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" letters
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of March 21, 2011
Prayer Requests
  

The Annunciation: A Feast for New Caregivers

Dear Friends:

       This Friday, March 25, the Church celebrates the feast of the Annunciation which commemorates the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she was to become the mother of Christ (Luke 1:26-38), and the miraculous conception of Christ by her. Luke says she was "greatly troubled" with the news, just as many caregivers-to-be are when they find out their loved one needs somebody caring for them and, apparently, they are that somebody. The angel's response? "Don't be afraid, Mary."
       Luke points out that, despite her fear, Mary said "yes" to what was proposed. (It was her "let it be" or, in Latin, her "fiat.)
       As we explain in The Basics of Catholic Caregiving:

       No matter how you arrived at this point, no matter what your particular responsibilities and concerns have become, you may find it helpful to realize --or to consider once again -- that there is a spiritual component to caregiving. To pause for a moment and make the conscious decision to be your loved oneís caregiver. To accept this role. To acknowledge this God-given vocation.
       God has asked you, just as Jesus asked St. John, to take care of someone he loves. More than an assignment, itís a calling. Truly, a vocation.
       Like St. John at the foot of the cross, you now have the opportunity to answer yes to Godís invitation to care for one of his beloved sons or daughters.
       Our faith tell us, and our loving God assures us, youíre not alone in this often challenging and overwhelming -- and at times even frightening -- mission. The One who asked you remains with you, day and night.
       More than merely by your side, he alone can be in your mind, your heart and your soul, ready to offer you comfort, support and strength to handle the daily challenges of caregiving. All you need to do is ask.
       But amid the hectic day-in and day-out tasks of caring for a loved one, sometimes it takes effort, it takes a conscious and deliberate decision, to stop --if only for a moment Ė and become more aware of the presence of God.
       To better see how he never abandons you. How -- no matter what time it is, no matter where you are, no matter the circumstances -- he is there.
       The love you offer to your aging parent, spouse, family member or friend is always accompanied by Godís infinite love for that person . . . and for you.

       Like Mary, as a caregiver you'll live out that "yes" in countless ways. Like Mary's reply, your "let it be" was an act of faith. It's proof that the words of the responsorial psalm for the Annunciation are becoming  your prayer, too: "Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will."

- - -

       As we've mentioned before, here are two resources for Lent:
       --Creighton University has daily reflections here.
       --And the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has the readings for daily Mass here.

- - -

      This week we're so pleased to welcome Gloria M-S. from 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!

                                                          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" letters
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of March 28, 2011
Prayer Requests
  

Whereís Halfway?

Dear Friends:

       As we get close to the halfway point in Lent, it occurred to us that one of the -- many, many, many -- challenges of caregiving is thereís no way of measuring where you are along that journey. Just beginning? A quarter completed? Halfway? Almost done? (And, of course, "done" doesnít necessarily mean the death of a loved one but -- thanks be to God -- his or her recovery!)
       Two of the readings from the Third Sunday of Lent (March 27) say something about B.C. (Before Caregiving) and about now, too.
       The selection from Exodus includes:

       In those days, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?"

       As a caregiver, itís easy to think back on how things had been and question why they are the way they are now. Not that the past was perfect, but the present is so overwhelming.

       And then there's this from the Gospel:

       Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.

        Even Jesus got tired! Even Jesus needed to stop, to rest, to take a few moments for himself. And now, for you to do all those three things is to be Christlike.

       Our prayer for you this week is that you get a chance to "sit down there at the well." To have that cup of tea or coffee, to have those moments of rest and calm, to have the opportunity to again realize you're not alone in all this although, at times, caregiving can be so lonely. The same Jesus that needed a break by that well is with you. Right here, right now. And always.

- - -

       As we've mentioned before, here are two resources for Lent:
       --Creighton University has daily reflections here.
       --And the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has the readings for daily Mass here.

- - -

     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" letters
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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