From the letter of Pope John Paul II to the Elderly...he said "the teaching and language of the Bible present old age as a "favorable time" for bringing life to its fulfillment and in God's plan for each person, as a time when everything comes together and enables us better to grasp life's meaning and to attain "wisdom of Heart"...sign of God's blessing.
Elder Ministry is about enhancing the lives of seniors who in turn enhance the lives of others. Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte is gifted with the presence of many seniors who have an abundance of knowledge, talent and expertise to offer to ministry. We also have many seniors who would benefit greatly from a ministry geared toward them.
Elder Ministry provides leadership and guidance to parishes and older adults within the Diocese to enhance their well-being and to promote the development of programs.
Development of Parish Programs:
Elder Ministry is available to share models of ministry opportunities to, for, by and with older adults.
In collaboration with parishes and vicariates, a series of classes and workshops can be created to address the needs and issues associated with aging.
In various regions of the Diocese, fairs have been held to highlight safety and health. Representatives from diverse groups in the local community, who work toward wellness, health and issues of interest to the senior adult population are present to offer information, consultation and demonstrations.
Education and support in developing parish outreach to home and hospital are available by request.
Recreation and Culture:
Collaboration with parishes and vicariates to assist in planning of special events is available.
Information & Referral:
Elder Ministry provides information and referral to community resources.
Elder Ministry offers annual events such as the Spring Fling and Days of Reflection.
The Spring Fling is a day filled with fun, friendship, food, music, bingo, crafts, entertainment, educational classes, health & wellness programs, chair exercises, tai-chi, yoga, and much more. The day concludes with a Closing Mass.
Comments from participants:
"I look forward to the Spring Fling as it allows me the opportunity to reconnect with friends around the Diocese."
"The Spring Fling is "GREAT!" Each year it just gets better. The friendliness of the staff, the diversity of the programs and activities offered. Please keep them coming!"
"I enjoyed spending the day with new and old friends...the variety of activities to choose from...the entertainment...and especially the Closing Mass...what a perfect way to end a wonderful day."
Days of Reflection:
As we mature our spiritual relationship with God also matures and grows. Senior adults have a great influence on those around them as they are coming from a lifelong history of faith and experience. Days of Reflection help us to rediscover God's love and presence in our lives...they remind us of the strength and grace that God provides to each of us...and how we are called to be his hands and feet upon this earth...and how we are called to share his love and grace with others. The day includes a Mass, celebrating our lives and gifts as we grow older.
Comments from participants:
"I believe it is import to renew one's spirit. Today's reflection provided that renewal. My hope is that you will continue these days of reflection. This was my first and I definitely will return."
"The Days of Reflection are so important to encourage all of us and give us a renewed Spirit to "keep on keeping on" in doing Our Lord's work! Keep the Days Coming! Thanks!
"These days are wonderful for the renewal of faith, fellowship and laughter!"
"By attending the Day of Reflection, we (seniors) have an opportunity to meet with each other from different parishes and to have an enlightened day focused on the love of God."