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



'Dear Friends' October 2009

Week of October 5, 2009
  

Your Little Light Shines Brightly

Dear Friends:

       We've discovered that caregivers have a tendency to begin a description of their particular work with "I'm only . . . . " As in: "I'm only helping with the shopping, laundry, cooking, and housecleaning, and getting my wife to her doctors' appointment, while she recovers from the surgery." Or "I'm only stopping by to see Dad after work three days a week to make sure he's OK and maybe once on the weekend. Sometimes twice." Or "I'm only going to the nursing home at lunch time and most days I'm not there for more than an hour."
       Yes, someone is always doing more. Yes, some other family is always facing tougher times than yours. But, it seems obvious from the descriptions we hear, most caregivers are doing a lot more than they realize they're doing. Including being frontline in the pro-life movement.
       We think that needs mentioning this week since yesterday, October 4, was Respect Life Sunday. (Two years ago, the Friends of St. John the Caregiver -- including YourAgingParent.com -- was a featured model program for the event!) In the middle of the doing the laundry, the stopping by, the going to the nursing home, the handling the doctors' appointments and all the rest, it can be easy to overlook the fact that, as a caregiver, you're also showing a tremendous respect for human life.
       Maybe you'd like to be out with others who are praying the rosary in front of the abortion clinic. Or be able to open your home to a young woman facing a difficult pregnancy. Or be gathering signatures to defeat a state measure legalizing assisted suicide. Or be lobbying Congress about health care reform from a pro-life perspective.
       But you can't be. Not now. Not with a primary responsibility to help your care-receiver.
       Maybe this never occurred to you but what you're doing as a caregiver plays a central role in helping today's society come to realize what pro-life means. Your actions speak volumes and have a rippling effect that reaches far beyond that small circle of you and your care-receiver, or you and your family, or you and your friends. We have no doubt that you aren't tooting your own horn about your caregiving. But we also have no doubt that the seemingly little light that is your personal apostolate shines brightly in an oftentimes dark, dark world.
       Thank you for what you're doing.

- - -

       Wendy Wiese welcomed Monica as a guest to last Wednesday's broadcast of On Call on Relevant Radio. You can listen to that interview or download a copy here.  Thank you to Wendy and  operations manager Dave Zelzer! Thanks, too, to those who took the time to call us at the Friends of St. John the Caregiver (1-800-392-JOHN) after hearing Monica on the program.

- - -

     This week we're pleased to welcome Bob C. from 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.
       We cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver, 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 October 12, 2009
  

Little Moments

Dear Friends:

       In the overwhelming whirl that's caregiving it can help to remember that little things still matter. That little things still mean a lot. There are big issues, of course: a loved one's illness or condition. There are big concerns: costs and appointments and all the rest. There can be fear and anger and exhaustion and guilt -- sometimes all four at once -- but . . .
       Caregiving, like marriage or parenthood, like a career or a friendship, is also those tiny moments, those little acts of love and concern, those times of shared laughter and comfortable silence, that first spring to mind when you think back on many years of marriage or parenthood or career or friendship. Most often those moments came as a surprise. An unexpected treat. A true blessing. A grace, pure and simple.
       Our prayer for you this week is that you and your care-receiver recognize those moments now at this stage in your relationship. That you both cherish them. And that later, when your caregiving duties have ended, you find great comfort remembering them.

- - -

       We cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.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" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of October 19, 2009
  

Mission . . . Possible

Dear Friends:

       Yesterday's marking of World Mission Sunday had us thinking about an old TV show and a movie. The show was "Mission Impossible" which began with the main character being given the option "your mission, should you decide to accept it . . . . " The movie was "The Blues Brothers," featuring comedians John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd who explain that they're hosting a concert to raise money to save a Catholic orphanage because "we're on a mission from God."
       Pope Benedict XVI didn't mention the show or the movie in his message for World Mission Sunday but . . . both have a tie-in with caregiving.
       The first because, as a caregiver, you've been given the choice to accept or turn down that challenge and all that it entails. And you've accepted it.
        The second because, even though at first it sounds just as silly as "Jake and Elwood Blues" making the comment, you too are "on a mission from God."
       ("Mission" coming from the Latin meaning "to send.")
       God hasn't sent you to another continent or another country, but to your parent's home, to your spouse's bedside, to your loved one's nursing home, and so on. To the hospital waiting room, to the pharmacy line, to the phone to sort out insurance payments or set up appointments. And on and on.
       Just as being asked to bring the Gospel to a foreign land is the work of missionaries so is bringing Christ's loving touch -- through your hands and your efforts -- to one of his beloved sons or daughters who is sick, elderly, disabled or frail.
       You're on a mission from God. A mission that is possible because, always, it's also a mission with God.

- - -

       Then, too, Pope Benedict's message does stress that the Church is called to promote and defend "the dignity of every human person." And that's just what you're doing!

       It is the duty of the Church, called to be a seed of hope, to continue Christ's service in the world. The measure of her mission and service is not material or even spiritual needs limited to the sphere of temporal existence, but instead, it is transcendent salvation, fulfilled in the Kingdom of God (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 27). This Kingdom, although ultimately eschatological and not of this world (cfr Jn 18:36), is also in this world and within its history a force for justice and peace, for true freedom and respect for the dignity of every human person. The Church wishes to transform the world through the proclamation of the Gospel of love, "that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working and in this way cause the light of God to enter into the world" (Deus Caritas Est, 39). With this message I renew my invitation to all the members and institutions of the Church to participate in this mission and this service.

- - -

       This week we're so pleased to welcome four new members to the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. "Hello" to Paul O. in Ohio, Barbara H. in Minnesota, Michele H. in California, and Nancy L. in Pennsylvania. Please keep them and their intentions in your prayers. They've promised to pray for you and yours.
       And we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver, too. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.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" notes
"Among Friends" quarterly newsletter
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week of October 26, 2009
  

Your Turn, Your Friends, Your Future

Dear Friends:

       Next Saturday a lot of party-goers and tick-or-treaters may know nothing about the relationship between All Hallows Eve and All Saints Day but the feast offers another reminder that, as a caregiver:
       1. You aren't the first.
       2. You aren't alone.
       3. You won't be the last.
       The Book of Genesis says nothing about it, but -- one could lightly speculate -- perhaps after Cain killed Abel and took off, Adam turned to Eve and wondered: "Now who's going to take care of us in our old age?"
       Certainly, caring for a loved one who's sick, frail, elderly or disabled has been a part of family life since the dawn of family life. And, no doubt, in each age and each society there have been particular challenges as well as the universal and timeless ones you and your care-receiver face today.
       You aren't the first!
       In that  long line of caregivers are a lot of saints, those who have been canonized by the Church and those -- now in heaven -- whose names and heroic acts of virtue are known to God alone. November 1, the feast of All Saints, is the day the Church honors all the saints, including all those named and unnamed caregivers.
       In traditional theological terms, that "Church Triumphant" (the souls in heaven) continues to pray for members of the "Church Militant" -- that is, those of us still on earth. Simply put, you have many, many friends in high places who more than sympathizing with you: They can truly empathize with you. (And, the third section of the Body of Christ, the "Church Suffering" -- the souls in purgatory preparing to enter heaven -- are praying for you, too! The Church remembers them in a particular way on November 2, the feast of All Souls.)
       You aren't alone!
       And someday, by the grace of God, you will be able to join the saints there. (Yes, perhaps after a little "spiritual sprucing up" in purgatory.) Someday, from heaven, it will be your turn to pray for -- to intercede for -- family caregivers still on earth.
       You won't be the last!
       That "heavenly vocation" may be yours until the end of time, and the end of suffering and death; yours until, like the resurrected Christ, we'll each rise again, join body and soul, and spend eternity in perfect health and happiness.

- - -

       Again we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver, too. (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.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" 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.