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Elder Ministry

In a 1999 Letter to the Elderly, Pope John Paul II 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.'”

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.

Health Fair:

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 homes and hospitals are available by request.

Recreation and Culture:

Collaboration with parishes and vicariates to assist in the planning of special events is available.

Information & Referral:

Elder Ministry provides information and referral to community resources.

Spring Fling:

The Spring Fling is a day filled with fun, friendship, food, music, bingo, crafts, entertainment, educational classes, health and wellness programs, chair exercises, line dancing, Zumba, 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 and 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.”

For further information, please contact Sandra Breakfield, Elder Ministry Program Director at 704-370-3220 or email her at


Elder Ministry Events:

Aging with Confidence Webinar Series

Join Catholic Charities Elder Ministry as we explore how our five senses impact aging during our 4-Part “Aging with Confidence” Webinar Series.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For additional information, contact Sandra Breakfield, Program Director of Elder Ministry, at 704-370-3220 or

Session Three: “Sense of Touch”

Session Four “Sense of Vision

Past Events:

Aging with Confidence Webinar Series

Session One: “Hearing Health and the Brain” • March 8, 2023

Join Dr. Kelly Knolhoff, Audiologist and Owner at Birkdale Audiology, as she discusses the basics of hearing and the effects of hearing loss on the brain and cognition. In addition, treatment options and updates in hearing aid technology will be discussed.

Session Two: “Adjusting to Changes in Smell & Taste” • March 22, 2023

As we age, our sense of taste and smell change. Join Margaret White, Consultant with Centralina Area Agency on Aging, to learn about the impacts associated with any loss, identify risk factors you might have, learn proven tips to mitigate loss, and take steps to increase the flavor of your foods.

3-Part Dementia Educational Series

Session One: “Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body” with Angela Burrow, Alzheimer’s Association Community Educator

For centuries, we’ve known that the health of the brain and the body are connected. But now, science is able to provide insights into how lifestyle choices may help you keep your brain and body healthy as you age. Join us to learn about research in the areas of diet and nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity, and social engagement, and use hands-on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging.

Session Two: “Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia” with Angela Burrow, Alzheimer’s Association Community Educator

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. Join us to learn about the impact of Alzheimer’s, the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia, stages and risk factors, current research, and treatment available for some symptoms, and Alzheimer’s Association resources.

Session Three: “Effective Communication Strategies” with Angela Burrow, Alzheimer’s Association Community Educator

Communication is more than just talking and listening – it’s also about sending and receiving messages through attitude, tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. As people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias progress in their journey and the ability to use words is lost, families need new ways to connect. Join us to explore how communication occurs when someone has Alzheimer’s, learn to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia, and identify strategies to help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.

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