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Dear Friends

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The Puzzle Called 'Caregiving'

Week of January 18, 2016
Prayer Requests

Dear Friends,

I never was one for putting together jigsaw puzzles. It always amazed me that some people could look at hundreds of pieces scattered on a table and say, "This one goes here." And then place it in just the right spot with that satisfying little "snap" as the piece locked into place.

I did know to look for the four corners. And then try to find all the pieces that made up the four edges of the picture. But even getting the edges together was a challenge for me.

Caregiving can be like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle but, often, the picture changes. Your care-receiver no longer needs this, but has to have that. Or, more challenging, has to have this and that.

Then, too, sometimes an edge ceases to be an edge. The prognosis was that the problem would be solved by now but . . . that didn't happen, for any number of reasons. And so the puzzle has grown in size. You're loved one needs more care over a longer period of time.

(Or, and what a new and frightening picture this can be, he or she now needs hospice care.)

When it comes to the puzzle called "caregiving," the number of pieces can change, the size can increase, and the edges can no longer be the border as the picture gets bigger or more complicated, but . . .

It might help to remember that the corners are always the corners. That God is always in your corner. In every corner. Every twist. Turn. Setback. Complication.

As we say in "The Basics of Catholic Caregiving":

You’re not alone in this often challenging and overwhelming – and at times even frightening – mission. The One who asked you remains with you, day and night. . . .

The love you offer to your aging parent, spouse, family member or friend is always accompanied by God’s infinite love for that person . . . and for you.

To adapt a saying of French philosopher and Christian existentialist Gabriel Marcel: "Sometimes caregiving isn't a puzzle that can be solved, but a mystery to be lived."

You remain in my prayers.

- - -

This week we're so pleased to welcome Theresa L. of Maryland, Michael O. of Montana, and Marilyn W. of Georgia  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 again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver! (FSJC's programs include and 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!


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