Home | Spirituality |Topics | Presentations | Sites and Resources | Contact Us | Donate



'Dear Friends' November 2008

Week of November 3, 2008
  

The Uncertainty of Caregiving

Dear Friends:

       Over the years we've heard a lot of stories from a lot of caregivers, but we've never heard one say, "I know what I'm doing. I'm sure of myself with this."
       We're pretty certain that most caregivers have more than a few times of uncertainty. In fact, caregiving includes more than learning to live with uncertainty. It means continuing to persevere, and to make decisions, despite uncertainty. What are caregivers unsure of?
       --Their abilities to take care of another person.
       --Sorting out -- and keeping straight -- meds and doctors' appointments and therapies and insurance claims and on and on.
       --Their strength, their patience, their faith, their future.
       --Their loved one's health . . . and future.
       --God's decision to ask them to have this particular vocation at this particular time with this particular person. What was he thinking!
       We hesitate to speculate on the mind of God, but we suspect he was thinking, "At this time, with this person, under these conditions, I choose you."
       And, we're certain, he never abandons you. He's with you and your loved one, all day and all night.
       Our prayer for you this week is that, when your caregiving worries have you tossing and turning in the middle of the night, you can rest assured.
       Rest.
       Assured.
       The Good Lord is with you.

- - -

       Looking for some help making decisions? Check out "Choosing the Best Solution" here and "Guidelines for Caregiving" here.
       "Guidelines for Caregiving" is also a video that's available now on our YouTube channel: JohnTheCaregiver.
       This is the first of two parts:

 

- - -

       As we mentioned last week, November is also National Family Caregiver Month. You can read more about that and about a free "teleclass" hosted by the National Family Caregiver Association here.
       The second Sunday of the month -- this year, Nov. 9 --is Family Caregiver Sunday. You can read more about how your parish can mark that occasion here.

- - -

       Please join us in welcoming the newest member of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. "Hello" to Pat R. in Ohio, Pat R. in Connecticut (yes, two "Pat R.'s" in one week; on the same day, in fact); and Sharon H. in Washington state. Please keep them and their intentions in your prayers. They've promised to pray for caregivers and those receiving care.
       And, of course, we invite you to join, too! You can find out more about becoming a member here.
       No meetings, no dues. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).
      You can sign up on-line here right now!

       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 November 10, 2008
  

Prayers for 'Veteran Caregivers'

Dear Friends:

       Older members of the senior generation sometimes still refer to Veterans Day (a federal holiday observed this Tuesday) as Armistice Day. In school, they learned it marked the end of "the Great War" --later known as World War I. The fighting stopped on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The holiday came to honor all veterans and in 1954 the name was changed to reflect that shift.
       Veterans Day 2008 seems like a good opportunity to focus on two groups:
       The first is caregivers who have helped -- and who continue to help -- retired and former members of the military who need care. Some have offered that assistance to a spouse, a sibling or a parent for many years. Others are just assuming that responsibility after a loved one returns from a war zone with new, and often overwhelming, needs.
       This week in particular, please keep all these families in your prayers.
       The second group is what we could call "veteran caregivers" in the sense that they're former caregivers. Their care-receiver has returned to health or has died.
       A number of former caregivers are members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. We thank them for sharing their stories with us and for offering all caregivers the reminder that -- in the midst of so many concerns and fears and obligations -- caregiving can also be a time of tremendous blessing. That fleeting time is precious time.
       Again, this week in particular, please keep all former caregivers in your prayers, too. Especially those whose loved one has died in the last 12 months.

- - -

       We've posted three more videos on our YouTube channel: JohnTheCaregiver. (Or one video with three parts!) "Caregiving from a Care-receiver's Point of View" examines:
       --Part 1: Independence
       --Part 2: Loss and Grief
       --Part 3: "I Don't Want to Be a Burden"
       Here's the third segment, a topic that's very familiar to caregivers.

 

- - -

       We invite you to join us on Friday morning, Nov. 21, at St. Theresa Parish in Federal Way, Wash., for a talk on "The Spirituality of Caregiving." Click here to see the flier the parish has prepared.

- - -

        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).

       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 November 17, 2008
  

The Church Year's Final Words

Dear Friends:

       The calendar year still has six weeks to go but Nov. 23rd is the final Sunday of the Church year and its liturgical calendar. As always, the feast celebrates Christ the King and Our Lord's coming at the end of time.  This year (using the "A" readings, the first in a three-year cycle), the Gospel is Matthew 25:31-46 and it talks about final judgment.
       "When the Son of Man comes in his glory" and "separates the sheep from the goats" on what will he base his decisions? The answer is familiar to those who know the Prayer to St. John, Patron of Caregivers: "whatever you did for one of the least . . . of mine, you did for me."
       What you're doing as a caregiver matters now, and in the long run . . . and forever.
       (You can read the whole Gospel for next Sunday here.)

- - -

       Parishes in the Seattle Archdiocese (where we live) are asking members to make a stewardship commitment for 2009. The form being used includes three parts: time, talent and treasure. As the time section explains, "Our parish encourages everyone to give a portion of their time to prayer, to worship, to their family, and to community involvement." We were very pleasantly surprised to see that under "My Family" is "Care for or visit the elderly, homebound or sick."
       --How wonderful that the archdiocese and its parishes are acknowledging the role and the spiritual dimension of family caregiving.
       --How great it is for caregivers to be reminded (or perhaps realize for the first time) that assisting a care-receiver is a form of "prayer in action." (Especially when, so often, a caregiver can feel guilty because "I don't have time to pray.")
       --How important it is to help parishioners recognize that within their faith community there are many, many caregivers.

- - -

       Thanks to all who have used our new toll-free number to ask for material (Free material, of course!) Try it yourself: 1-800-392-JOHN (5646).
       If no one is staffing the line when you call, please leave a message. We'll get back to you or -- if you give us the information -- ship the material out to you.
       However . . .
       We have to say we can't help when someone requests rocks for his or her aquarium. We had a few messages asking for gravel and it took us a while to figure that one out. Our new number is similar to a company that sells sea coral. (We don't know if he or she also sells seashells by the seashore, to quote an old tongue-twister.)

- - -

       We invite you to join us on this Friday morning, Nov. 21, at St. Theresa Parish in Federal Way, Wash., for a talk on "The Spirituality of Caregiving." Click here to see the flier the parish has prepared.

- - -

       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 November 24, 2008
  

A Caregiver's Thanksgiving Litany

Dear Friends:

       You're probably familiar with litanies -- those traditional forms of prayers that include a list and a response to each item. (The word itself comes from the Greek litaneia which means "a humble and fervent appeal.") We thought we'd mark Thanksgiving 2009 with A Caregiver's Thanksgiving Litany:

       For all those who, like me, are taking care of a loved one who is sick, elderly, disabled or frail:
              Thank you, Lord.
       For those taking care of an aging parent:
              Thank you, Lord.
       For husbands and wives taking care of a spouse:
              Thank you, Lord.
       For those taking care of a child or sibling with special needs:
              Thank you, Lord.
       For parishes and dioceses offering help to family caregivers:
              Thank you, Lord.
       For friends and family who provide times of respite and someone to talk to:
             Thank you, Lord.
       For medical and healthcare professionals who offer my loved one compassionate care:
              Thank you, Lord.
       For the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick:
              Thank you, Lord.
      For the awareness of your presence in the middle of my caregiving duties and obligations:
              Thank you, Lord.
       For the times my care-receiver graciously accepts the help I'm offering:
              Thank you, Lord.
       In gratitude for the intercession of St. John, the patron of family caregivers:
              Thank you, Lord.
       In gratitude for the prayers of Our Lady of Need, patroness of those receiving care:
              Thank you, Lord.
       For members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver who have promised to pray for me and my loved one, for all caregivers and for all care-receivers:
             Thank you, Lord.
       For the opportunity to serve you by providing care for this person whom we both love so dearly:
             Thank you, Lord, thank you. Amen.

- - -

       If you're like us, some years the entire Advent season can slip by without our getting the wreath put together and a single candle lit. Fortunately, there are on-line resources for helping make this Advent -- which begins on Sunday! -- a time of prayer and preparation for the feast of Christmas.
       A popular choice is provided by Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. To visit the general information page click here, and to go straight the First Week of Advent, click here.

- - -

       Thank you so much to Willa and Bob Gaines at St. Theresa Parish in Federal Way, Wash., for arranging and hosting last Friday's workshop for caregivers. Monica spoke on "The Spirituality of Caregiving."
       Thank you, too, to the many, many people who attended! Thanks also to Father Kevin Moran, parochial vicar.

- - -

       Please join us in welcoming the newest members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver: Laraine K. in Illinois, Paulette R. in Louisiana and Carla S. in Wisconsin. 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
 

 

Home | Spirituality | Topics | Presentations | Sites and Resources  | Contact Us | Donate
2004-2013 Friends of St. John the Caregiver
YourAgingParent.com is a program of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.