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'Dear Friends' May 2009

Week of May 4, 2009
  

A Prayer to Mary

Dear Friends:

       Last Friday, May 1, the students at our parish school brought flowers of "fairest and rarest" and crowned a statue of the Blessed Mother before the 9 am First Friday Mass. And on that first day of a month dedicated to Our Lady, St. Joseph wasn't overlooked either since it was also the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. (No doubt he's praying for the many people who find themselves out of a job at this time.)
       And speaking of Mary . . . 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.

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.

- - -

       Congratulations to Dolores Martinez and her fellow volunteers who held a day of reflection titled  "The Blessings and Challenges of Family Caregiving" last Thursday at The Spiritual Renewal Center in Albuquerque, NM. Dolores reports: "Thank you for your prayers that day. In addition to 2 powerful personal stories, we had my presentation and then my son-in-law talked about the spirituality of caregiving. We began and ended with a prayer service in the chapel."

- - -

       The latest edition of "Among Friends," the quarterly newsletter of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver has been posted.

- - -

        Join us in welcoming the newest members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver: Madonna and Brian F. in North Carolina. 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 May 11, 2009
  

A 'Yard-Sale' Approach to Your Caregiving Obligations

Dear Friends:

       We just had "garage sale/yard sale weekend"  in our little suburb. The city promotes the annual event as a way to encourage spring cleaning and then has unlimited curbside garbage pickup the following week. They never actually say some of the items at those sales are garbage
but . . . . 
       We've never had a sale (we're more the take-it-to-St.-Vinnie's kind of people) but we enjoy walking through the neighborhoods and seeing what's being offered. There are bargains, if you can find a particular item you can use. Often, after a household finishes its sale, it leaves a lot of things out front with an "All Free!" sign nearby. There are heaps of electronics, furniture, clothing, toys, appliances and much, much more. It isn't unusual that a large pile is quickly reduced to bare lawn. (We've "shopped" that way!)
       What does all this have to do with caregiving? A caregiver's life is usually packed with obligations just as most family homes these days are packed with . . . oh, so much stuff!
       From time to time, it's good to consider a little "caregiver cleaning." We mean to look at all you do and consider if there are ways someone else could handle that particular chore for you. (Pick up a prescription, mow the lawn, run to the drycleaners, sit with your loved one so you could get a little break and so on.)
       Many us have a hard time setting out items for a garage sale or giving them away to a charity. ("But I love that!" "But this isn't completely broken. I'll fix it someday." "But if I give it away today I'll really miss it -- I really need it -- next week. Just you wait and
see!")
       Letting go of a knick-knack can make us feel uncomfortable.
       On the other hand, that less-than-pristine item might be just what someone else is looking for. Perhaps she can and will fix it. Maybe it completes his set of . . . whatever it is . . . and he's been hoping to come across one for a long, long time.
       There may be people who would really like to help you in your caregiving. Who? Family or friends. Co-workers. Folks at the parish. Someone you helped when that person was taking care of a loved one. Somebody who can't take care of a mom or dad as much as she'd like to because that parent lives on the other side of the country. A former caregiver who knows how really hard caregiving can be.
       What you put out and make available -- "I could use some help with . . . " "Could you, please . . . " "I wish I had time to . . . " -- might be just what that other person is looking for: more than just an opportunity to help but a specific way to help you.
       Yes, letting go of even one item on your caregiver to-do list might make you feel uncomfortable but we encourage you to try that this week. Set "it" out on the curb and see what happens!

- - -

        Please join us in welcoming the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver: Ralph S. in Georgia. Please keep him and his intentions in your prayers. He's 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 May 18, 2009
  

Death 'in God's Time'

Dear Friends:

       We want to thank FSJC member Tom Wagner for inviting Monica to be on the panel last Saturday at a "A Catholic Pastoral Response to the Death with Dignity Act: A Symposium for Catholic Health Care Ministers." The topic focused on Initiative 1000 which passed last fall in Washington state. (It legalized physician-assisted suicide and went into effect this spring.) The gathering was sponsored by the Seattle Archdiocese where Tom is the assistant director for pastoral care services.
        Among the panelists was Dominican Sister Sharon Park, Executive Director of the Washington State Catholic Conference. The WSCC has produced some excellent material on end-of-life issues, including the video "In God's Time." (Panelists Bridget Carney, Providence Sister Karin Dufault and Dr. Mimi Pattison are featured in the video.)

 

       The conference has more Educational and Inspirational Resources on End of Life here.

- - -

        Again this week we invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. 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 May 25, 2009
  

A Gift for the Folks in the Front Pew

Dear Friends:

      Yesterday we visited a nearby parish for Sunday Mass and we couldn't help noticing that a front pew was reserved for folks who couldn't come forward for Holy Communion. They sat with their caregivers and the Eucharist was brought to them.
       It's the same at our parish and maybe yours, too. (Maybe that's where you and your loved one sit.)
       If so, we'd like to suggest you keep a copy or two of "The Little Book of Caregiver Prayers" on hand -- in a purse or pocket -- and offer it to those front-pew folks. In our experience, a caregiver and care-receiver are always pleased to be acknowledged and no one has ever said no to the prayer book. (And copies of two holy cards, too: St. John the Caregiver and Our Lady in Need.)
       If you're like us, it's not your first impulse to go up and talk to people. We've discovered "Would you like a prayer book?" is a good way to start that conversation. That and "Thank you for bringing your loved one to Mass" and "I wanted you to know that members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver worldwide are praying for both of you."
       If you're a caregiver, you know what a difference being acknowledged and thanked can mean. It might make your day!
       Of course copies of the prayer book and holy cards are free. Just let us know if you would like some. You can call us, send us a note, or zap an e-mail our way.
       On behalf of the front-pew folks, thank you!

- - -

       This week we welcome Ralph L. of Georgia to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. Please keep Ralph and his intentions in your prayers. He's promised to keep yours in his.
       We invite you to join FSJC, 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
 

 

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