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'Dear Friends' May 2011

Week of May 1, 2011
Prayer Requests
  

A Caregiver's Prayer

Dear Friends:

       We continue to receive requests for copies of "A Caregiver's Prayer" and more parishes and dioceses are reprinting  and distributing it (which we think is a great idea!). The prayer is included in this month's issue of Catholic Caregivers because the topic ("Dealing with Your Parent's Racial and Ethnic Prejudices") isn't as long as most topics are. (We didn't want to waste any unused space on the flier.)
       Just let us know if you'd like a copy of the prayer or any other (free, free, free!) material we offer. You can find the order form here.
       This is the prayer:

A Caregiverís Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me better understand and believe I can do what you ask me to do.

Forgive me for the times, even now, when I question your judgment.

As I go about the many daily tasks of caregiving, give me energy.

As I watch my loved one oh-so-slowly walk across the room, give me strength.

As I answer his/her repeated question just one more time, give me patience.

As I look for solutions to whatever is the most recent concern, give me wisdom.

As I reminisce with him/her about the ďgood old days,Ē give me a moment of laughter.

As I get to know my loved one in a new way, seeing both his/her strength and frailty, give me joy.

As I sit beside my loved oneís bed waiting for his/her pain medication to take effect, give me comfort.

Lighten my burden, answer my prayer, and give me the strength to do what so often seems impossible. Give me a quiet place to rest when I need it and a quieting of my anxieties when Iím there.

Change my attitude from a tired, frustrated and angry caregiver to the loving and compassionate one I want to be.

Remain my constant companion as I face the challenges of caregiving and when my job is through and itís time for me to let go, help me remember he/she is leaving my loving arms to enter your eternal embrace. Amen

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       We've also posted May's Bulletin Briefs and Prayers of Intercession at CatholicCaregivers.com.

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      This week we're so pleased to welcome Lillian P. of Pennsylvania as the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. Please keep her and her intentions in your prayers. She 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 May 9, 2011
Prayer Requests
  

Damien of Molokai, a Caregiver Saint

Dear Friends:

       It's not surprising that a lot of saints were also caregivers. Among the best known in recent times is Father Damien of Molokai who was canonized in 2009 and whose feast day is May 10.
       You're probably familiar with his story, but here's a lovely reflection on his caregiving by Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, Ireland:

 

 

- - -

       Happy Mother's Day to all moms, especially those who are caring for a spouse or for a child with special needs. And blessings on all caregivers taking care of their mothers!

- - -

      This week we're so pleased to welcome Thomas M. of Maryland and Patty G. of Texas 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 May 16, 2011
Prayer Requests
  

'Protect Us from All Anxiety'

Dear Friends:

       Small wonder the short prayer at Mass between the Our Father and the Sign of Peace is a favorite among caregivers. It includes the petition to "protect us from all anxiety" and -- boy! -- can caregivers have some anxious times.
       So can care-receivers. So can all people because, in this life, worries and anxieties are a part of the human condition. It's not a matter of a lack of faith. Jesus had perfect faith. His mother Mary was sinless. And they certainly had their anxious moments, too. (Mary and Joseph losing their young son in Jerusalem, for example. Or Christ's prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before he was crucified.)
       The prayer we say at Mass, the prayer you say at Mass, isn't asking that all anxieties be removed. It's requesting that those many worries and concern don't control us. Don't debilitate us. Don't consume us.
        Notice what follows that prayer: a sign of peace. An opportunity to offer that sign, to share that sign, to those nearby at Mass. An invitation to quiet our hearts as we prepare to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist.
        "Peace," said the angel Gabriel to Mary. "Peace," said the Risen Christ to the frightened, hiding apostles. It wasn't a peace that eliminated Mary's sorrows. It wasn't a peace that made the apostles' mission and ministry easy.
        It isn't a peace that will take away your caregiving worries. Fears. Grief. It's a peace, a grace, that will help you do what God has asked you to do despite the worries, the fears, the grief that come with that invitation, with that vocation.
       May the peace of the Lord be with you always!

- - -

      This week we're so pleased to welcome Matthew M. of Tennessee as the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. Please keep him and his intentions in your prayers. He 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 May 23, 2011
Prayer Requests
  

A Bedtime Prayer of Pope John XXIII

Dear Friends:

       It's hard to say what's hardest when it comes to caregiving. Among the many challenges is letting go, if only  briefly. After spending so much time helping a loved one -- days, weeks, months, or even years -- it's allowing someone else to provide care, whether that be a fellow family member, friend, volunteer or paid professional. In some cases, it's having a care-receiver attend an adult day center.
       That short break, that respite care, is important because a caregiver can't be the provider he or she wants to be without having some time away, some time off, some personal time, if only for a few hours a week.
        Then, too, sometimes letting go means a major shift in your role because it's time for your loved one to move to an assisted living facility, an adult family home or nursing facility. You've reached the point where you simply can't provide the kind of care he or she has come to need. And even though, in your head you know it has to be this way, in your heart you feel a sense of guilt.
       It may help to consider a bedtime prayer attributed to Pope John XXIII:

       "Iíve done the best I could in your service this day, Oh Lord. Iím going to bed. Itís your Church. Take care of it!"

      The Lord knows you've done the best you could. And he knows you need those regular breaks, or now need to accept the fact it's time for a major change.
       Your loved one was, is and always will be our heavenly Father's  loved one. Rest assured he'll take care of his beloved son or daughter.

- - -

      This week we're so pleased to welcome Ellen W-G. of Oregon, Diane D. of Texas and Jeannie G. of New Jersey 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 May 30, 2011
Prayer Requests
  

'In Sickness and in Health'

Dear Friends:

       As we head into June we're reminded that a lot of married couples have their anniversary during this month. That got us thinking about marriage vows and how easy it can be to promise to love each other "for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health."
      Or some variation of that.
      The "richer or poorer" line strikes home for most newlyweds but unless the bride or groom has experienced poor health, the idea of "sickness" beyond a bad cold or the flu is pretty much unimaginable.
       That can change quickly, and suddenly. And, truth be told, even if those serious health concerns don't crop up for 30 or 40 years, it still seems "quickly." Longtime married couples will tell you the years pass in the blink of an eye. And it can be "suddenly." A routine checkup or heading in to see the doctor for what one assumes is a minor concern can reveal a serious issue. Or a heart attack or stroke turns the couple's everyday world upside down.
       If you're caring for an aging parent, you're probably aware of how the parent/child roles can reverse. In the past he or she cared for you. Now you help him or her.
       Caring for a spouse can mean a similar adjustment and it can be especially challenging if, over those many years of marriage, a wife has handled some duties and the husband has handled others. (Cooking, home maintenance, bill paying, laundry, and on and on.)
       As with all caregiving, there's the feeling of "not my loved one," but with a married couple there's the added twist of a rookie taking over a veteran's responsibilities as the veteran watches. And sometimes winces. (He follows her recipe to the letter but the result is . . . not good. She hires someone to mow the lawn and the thought of paying to have that done irritates him to no end.)
      What a married couple comes to discover is that "in sickness and in health" includes the fact that the patient and the one helping the patient have to be . . . patient. With their spouse. And with themselves.
       Our prayers are with you.

- - -

        This week we're so pleased to welcome Kariann L. of New York 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
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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