Our parish Crib Collection this year is going to the diocesan Pastoral Care project, especially to support its work with older people, including people with Dementia and their carers.
The Pastoral Care Project raises awareness of, and supports the spiritual needs of the frail elderly, their family and carers. Many people with dementia are touched through our visits, we know this, for we are aware of God’s presence. Sometimes we are the ones so touched, and are filled with awe and wonder.
… she then cradled the child to her breast…
This is what happened during a Service of Exposition and Communion in a care home. A lady was assisted to her seat by a member of staff. Her head was drooped, she seemed agitated. One thing I remember vividly was she held a bundle of clothes under her arm.
Towards the end of the first hymn the lady looked up and watched. When I finished reading the verse I had chosen from the gospel of the day, John 16.9
‘As the Father has loved me so have I loved you’,
The lady then repeated the words back to me – the bundle of clothes still under her arm.
As my co-leader proceeded to sing the Hail Mary, the lady began to unfold the bundle of clothes and formed a childlike shape, she then cradled the child to her breast. We didn’t know how the lady felt, we were overcome with awe while she portrayed the image of loving another person.
- Was she reliving precious memories?
- Was she missing her grandchild?
- Was she holding her first born?
- Was she contemplating the sacred mysteries?
This is your story too. Those who are no longer able to attend church need to feel they are members of the body of Christ and your contribution whether through prayer, voluntary help or donations make this happen.
Together we are all assisting our priests in the church’s ministry to the sick: ensuring that the frail elderly and the dying celebrate the sacraments and receive pastoral care during this stage of their life.
During the coming year there will be opportunities for parishioners, supported by the Pastoral Care Project, to come together to in a new initiative to offer further pastoral support to those resident in local care and nursing homes.
If you wish to register your interest now, please email Fr Allen