Ideas for Parishes:
- Designate one Sunday during the month of June to focus on maturing adults, please feel free to use the sample prayers of the faithful, special blessing, bulletin insert, or a post on your social media platforms. (All resources are on this website.)
- Invite your parishioners to attend the Ministry with Maturing Adults Webinar on Saturday, June 5, 2021, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. sponsored by the Office of Formation for Discipleship. This live webinar will include a presentation by Sr. Janet Schaeffler, OP on Prescription for COVID: A Daily Dose of Faith, Hope, and Love. Download the poster and register online.
- Invite your parishioners to read the article Growing in Faith in Maturing Years by Sr. Mary Rose Marrin, C.S.J., and watch the video Spirituality & Aging: Continuing to Grow in the Second Half of Life, a CCBI Lecture by Sr. Mary Rose Marrin, C.S.J.
- Initiate a prayer companion programme – making use of existing “Ministry to the Sick, Elderly and Homebound”, offering them a ministry to pray for specific ministries in the parish.
- Initiate a “Lunch and Learn” programme using DVD presentations after a noon-hour Mass or a “Coffee Hour” DVD series after morning Mass. You can also invite a speaker to the “Lunch and Learn” or “Coffee Hour” to address one of the many topics of interest for seniors i.e. health care agencies, Community Care Access Centres, long-term care, etc.
- Initiate a Book Club. Select a book and gather weekly for one month. (Book suggestions: One of Henri Nouwen, Pope Francis or The Catholic Grandparents Handbook: Creative Ways to Show Love, Share Faith, and Have Fun by Lorene Hanley Duquin. This could be a time to share passages from the book with time for reflection and conversations.
Blessing During Mass:
Before the Final Blessing, the priest invites all those in the second half of life to stand for a special blessing:
Most loving God,
We thank you for the gift of years granted in our time to so many men and women in the second half of life. We thank you for their presence in our parish community; for their life experience, their courage and wisdom, their witness of faith.
We ask your blessing (✝) upon them as they live the many transitions that are part of maturing years. Be with them, keep them in your care, grant them peace and enable them to become beacons of hope in our world.
- For all men and women in the second half of life: those preparing for retirement, the active retired, and the elders – we pray to the Lord.
- For maturing adults (50+) who are facing significant life transitions in their activities, health, relationships, finances, or housing – we pray to the Lord.
- For all those who work to confront the abuses of ageism in our society – we pray to the Lord.
- For all retired persons who contribute time as volunteers in our parishes and in outreach to the wider community – we pray to the Lord.
- For those working to initiate or develop Ministry with Maturing Adults in our parishes – we pray to the Lord.
- For a greater awareness of the potential for spiritual growth as we age – we pray to the Lord.
- For caregivers in our homes and care centers who tend to the needs of our frail elders – we pray to the Lord.
- For persons who are elderly: that we might cherish their presence in our midst and drink deeply of their wisdom – we pray to the Lord. (adapted from USCCB)
- For elderly parents and godparents: that the love and respect of their children might sustain them and bring them joy – we pray to the Lord. (adapted from USCCB)
- For grandparents: that through their prayers and example they might teach their grandchildren the beauty of living the Gospel of Life – we pray to the Lord. (new) (adapted from USCCB)
Sample Bulletin Announcement:
June is Seniors' Month
Did you know?
- There are 900 million persons in the world over the age of 60 and in Canada, there are more people over the age of 65 than children under the age of 15.
- Life expectancy has increased by 30 years over the past 100 years.
- Our potential for spiritual growth increases as we age.
- A new ministry is emerging in churches to support the faith development of “maturing adults” throughout the multiple transitions that mark the second half of life.
- The maturing adult (50+) population is comprised of three distinct groups: the pre-retired, the active retired, and the elders – each group having specific needs.
- Dealing with issues of loss is the central psychological and spiritual task of maturing years.
- Connection – with self, others, creation, and God - is our greatest asset in the aging process.
How might we support each other in the aging process? How might our parish initiate and develop Ministry with Maturing Adults?