Those with many faith-filled years on the planet still have plenty to give, but first it must be acknowledged and valued by the elders themselves, with the guidance of the church community.
Pope Francis has said that the “the richness of many years of life… is the richness of people, of every single person who has many years of life experience and history behind them”.
A first step in that direction of realizing the richness of many years will be a special Mass to honor and bless seniors on Tuesday, July 26, the feast day of Saints Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary and patrons of grandparents and elders in general. The Mass is bilingual and starts at 7pm.
At the Mass, our “Contemplative Elder” project will be introduced, which includes an array of new weekly, monthly and ongoing activities directed specifically to our parish seniors, including:
-Weekly morning Lectio Divina, Mondays, beginning Sept. 12 at 9am.
-An annual silent retreat
-Monthly book or theme discussions
-Fellowship and community opportunities
-Guidance in developing a Rule of Life
-Addressing social and justice needs of parish elders
-Spiritual Formation program for those who desire and can commit to a more advanced level of eldering, “The Circle of Wisdom”
– Collection and sharing of wisdom stories relating to spiritual themes
Drawing on monastic wisdom as varied as St. Benedict and Fr. Thomas Keating, our Contemplative Eldering project is ultimately a summons to a deeper inner life, a transition from “role to soul,” and a time to discover one’s true self.