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'Dear Friends' November 2007

Monday, November 5, 2007
  

A Parish Blessing for Family Caregivers

Dear Friends,

                  Blessings on you and your loved ones as we approach Family Caregiver Sunday, Nov. 11th. We recommend this prayer for use in parishes next Sunday or another Sunday the parish has chosen to honor family caregivers.

 

 A Parish Blessing for Family Caregivers

    Dear Lord, bless all the caregivers in our families
and in our parish. Help them in this vocation
of love and service to which you have called them.
Give them courage and strength and perseverance.
Give them a deeper realization of your presence
in their lives and in their work as caregivers.
Give them times of peace and rest and hope.
Give them moments of grace and joy
shared with the loved ones in their care.
In the name of our Church, our parish and our families,
we thank them, Lord, for all they do.
And we promise to remember them
and their care-receivers in our prayers
throughout the year. Amen.

    A few suggestions for marking the occasion:

    --It might be best not to ask caregivers to stand during Mass for a special blessing. Instead let them remain seated with the rest of the congregation. Caregiving is personal. Some parishioners won't want to be recognized in a public way but will want to receive the blessing. Others, who perform many caregiving duties, may not define themselves as "caregivers."
    --Include the prayer in the Sunday bulletin sometime this month.
    --Post it on your parish's Web site.
    --Include a prayer for family caregivers in the Prayers of the Faithful.

- - -

    Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver -- and please keep their intentions in your prayers. "Hello" to Mary G. from Wisconsin, Mary Jo R. from Illinois, Joseph G. from Indiana, Joan H. from Colorado, Sue B. from Florida, Deborah O. from New Jersey, Marie G. from Ohio, Frank T. from Washington, and Chris C. from Pennsylvania. We want to thank all of you so very much for praying for caregivers and care-receivers.
    (Find out more about becoming a member. You can sign up here or download an enrollment form here. No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for family caregivers and those in their care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).)

    - - -

    We've mailed the material for this year's Annual Appeal. The theme is "You're Not Alone." We've posted copies of the request letter and the donor form.
    Also, a reminder that the Christmas shopping season is right around the corner. (Or has already arrived in some stores!) Please consider making a donation to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver in the name of a family member or friend as this year's Christmas gift to him or her. We'll send your loved one a card or, if you prefer, mail a card to you to give to him or to her.

    God bless you!

                                                         Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Past "Dear Friends" notes
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 12, 2007
  

A Number Only God Knows

Dear Friends,

    The banks, schools and federal offices are closed in the United States today (Monday, Nov. 12) to mark Veterans Day. That had us thinking about "veteran caregivers": those who have helped a loved one in the past. We have a number of "veteran caregivers" among the members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver and we always consider it an honor when they join.
    They know what it means to assist a care-receiver. Yes, the details, the specifics, can differ widely from family to family, but the foundation, the core, is love put into action. Put into hundreds, thousands, countless actions that can add up so quickly -- and over such an extended period of time -- that only God can keep track of the total.
    And, be assured, he does. Be assured, current caregivers, that your heavenly Father appreciates every one of your acts of caregiving. That each time you help your loved one, you're helping Christ himself. ("Whatever you did for one of these . . . you did for me" (Matthew 25:31-46).) That the Holy Spirit is always with you, ready to offer you comfort when you're at the end of your rope, courage when it all seems overwhelming, and consolation when -- despite your best efforts -- there are times you're not doing the job as well as you want to or you make a mistake.
    God didn't choose you to be a caregiver for this particular person because you would be a perfect one. He invited you to accept this vocation because he believes you're the best one for it. He knows that's so.

- - -

    This evening (again, we're referring to Monday, Nov. 12), we'll be making a presentation at Sacred Heart parish (see the last page of the bulletin) in Lacey, Wash. There's a dessert social at 6:30 (yum!) followed by a talk by Monica on the basics of Catholic caregiving. If you're in the area, stop in!

- - -

    Thank you so much to the donors who have already responded to this year's Annual Appeal. If you received a letter from us and have been meaning to make a contribution, we encourage you to do so. We've also posted copies of the request letter and the donor form for those who didn't receive them in the mail.
    The Friends of St. John the Caregiver and its programs, YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com, rely on donations . . . and the grace of God. (Not in that order.)
    Also, a reminder that the Christmas shopping season is right around the corner. (Or has already arrived in some stores!) Please consider making a donation to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver in the name of a family member or friend as this year's Christmas gift to him or her. We'll send your loved one a card or, if you prefer, mail a card to you to give to him or to her.

  - - -

    And again, this week, we ask you to please join us in welcoming the newest members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver -- and keep their intentions in your prayers: Chris C. and Mary M. from Pennsylvania, Nancy R. from Missouri, Jim T. from Illinois, Julie R. from Washington, Renee A. from Massachusetts, and Cecilia D. from Kansas. If you're a caregiver, please know that these people, and all FSJC members, are keeping you and your loved ones in their prayers.
   (Find out more about becoming a member. You can sign up here or download an enrollment form here. No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for family caregivers and those in their care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).)

    God bless you!

                                                         Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Past "Dear Friends" notes
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 19, 2007
  

Warning! Holidays Ahead!

Dear Friends,

    Here in the United States, families are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday. A few short weeks later, it will be Christmas worldwide. (Those weeks leading to Christmas are always short!) Then it's New Year's.
    With all that in mind, a few points:
    1. It may be your care-receiver is unable to thank you as a caregiver. It may be, for a variety of reasons, he or she hasn't quite noticed you have become his or her caregiver. In either case, on behalf of all care-receivers including yours, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    2. The holiday season is a hectic and stressful time for just about everyone. As a caregiver, your life may already be that way. Now, it can seem doubly so. We encourage you, whenever possible, to take a moment, to catch your breath, to rest. We know that's much more easily said than done but doing it's important, for both your loved one and for you. For some suggestions, see Exhaustion: Care for the Caregiver.
    3. Because of your many obligations, this may be the year you're not able to bake your famous pies, hang Christmas lights on the house, put up a tree, sing in the choir at midnight Mass or . . .  . God knows there are "Christmas things" you would like to. God knows not doing them this year is making a sacrifice. God appreciates that.

- - -

   We continue to be so pleased, and so grateful, that an increasing number of people are joining the Friends of St. John the Caregiver and promising to pray for caregivers and the ones in their care. This week we welcome our first member from Ireland. (There are now members on four continents in seven countries!) Hello, to Patricia B. in Donegal. Hello, too, to John W. in Missouri, Lorie W. in Tennessee, Jean G. and John D. in Pennsylvania, Sandra J. in Washington, and Agnes B. in Michigan.
    (Find out more about becoming a member. You can sign up here or download an enrollment form here. No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for family caregivers and those in their care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).)

- - -

   We also need to thank members, volunteers and staff at Sacred Heart parish, in Lacey, Wash., for a warm welcome (on a wet evening!) last Monday. Thank you to those who braved the bad weather (and skipped watching the Seattle Seahawks home game on Monday Night Football) to attend a presentation on The Basics of Catholic Caregiving.

- - -

    Mark your calendar if you live in the Sacramento, Calif., area. Monica will be speaking there at the "Catholic Breakfast Club" on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
    Also, if your organization, association, club, group, council, parish or diocese is looking for a speaker, please keep us in mind! We have a list of possible topics but a talk, presentation, keynote, or retreat can be tailored to meet a particular need and audience. Please don't hesitate to contact us to find out more.

- - -

    The response to this year's Annual Appeal has been wonderful! Thank you to each and every donor. Every contribution is greatly appreciated.
    If you received a letter from us and have been meaning to make a contribution, we encourage you to do so. We've also posted copies of the request letter and the donor form for those who didn't receive them in the mail.
    As we wrote last week, the Friends of St. John the Caregiver and its programs, YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com, rely on donations . . . and the grace of God. (Not in that order.)

- - -

    No crowded malls! No money spent on gasoline! No waiting in line at the post office to mail a present!
    Make a donation to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver in the name of a family member or friend as this year's Christmas gift to him or her. We'll send your loved one a card or, if you prefer, mail a card to you to give to him or to her.

    God bless you!

                                                         Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Past "Dear Friends" notes
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, November 26, 2007
  

Happy New - Church - Year

Dear Friends,

    Next Sunday, Dec. 2, is the First Sunday of Advent, and the start of the Church's liturgical year. If you're like us, there have been some Advents that have sneaked up on you and then raced toward Christmas. We have to confess there have been years when we didn't get an Advent wreath out until it was time to light three or four candles.
    Liturgically, this season is a new beginning and, sometimes, that's what caregiving can offer, too. If, over the years, you've tended to take your relationship with your loved one for granted (and that's easy to do), then caregiving can offer an opportunity for a deepening of the bond between the two of you.
   Then, too, it can also be an especially stressful -- and even aggravating -- time if you and your loved one have "a history." In the past, there may have been times when it was difficult to love your care-receiver because he or she was -- and is -- a difficult person to love. If that describes the relationship between you and your care-receiver, please know that we're praying for both of you in a particular way as this new Church year begins.

- - -

    You're also being remembered in the prayers of our newest members. This week we welcome Anthony L. from Hong Kong, China (our first member from that country!); Bob and Mary H. from Kentucky; Margie F. from Washington; Tom B. from New York; and Joan N. from Illinois. Welcome, welcome, welcome! On behalf caregivers and care-receivers worldwide, thank you so much for your prayers. Be assured you and your loved ones are remembered in our prayers and in the prayers of all FSJC members.
    (Find out more about becoming a member. You can sign up here or download an enrollment form here. No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for family caregivers and those in their care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).)

- - -

    Attention, parishes! The December editions of Catholic Caregivers ("Preparing Your Children to Visit Your Parent"), Bulletin Briefs and Prayers of Intercession have been posted at CatholicCaregivers.com. All the material is free and can be used by any group or individual. Print as many copies as you would like -- all for the same great price: Zero.

- - -

   We continue to be so pleased with the response to this year's Annual Appeal. Thank you to each and every donor. Every contribution is greatly appreciated.
    If you received a letter from us and have been meaning to make a contribution, we encourage you to do so. We've also posted copies of the request letter and the donor form for those who didn't receive them in the mail.
    As we've written previously, the Friends of St. John the Caregiver and its programs, YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com, rely on donations . . . and the grace of God. (Not in that order.)
    (Fa la la la la: Make a donation to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver in the name of a family member or friend as this year's Christmas gift to him or her. We'll send your loved one a card or, if you prefer, mail a card to you to give to him or to her.)

- - -

    Mark your calendar if you live in the Sacramento, Calif., area. Monica will be speaking there at the "Catholic Breakfast Club" on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
    Also, if your organization, association, club, group, council, parish or diocese is looking for a speaker, please keep us in mind! We have a list of possible topics but a talk, presentation, keynote, or retreat can be tailored to meet a particular need and audience. Please don't hesitate to contact us to find out more.

    God bless you!

                                                         Monica and Bill

To contact us
To join FSJC
To make a donation
To view or make prayer requests
Past "Dear Friends" notes
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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