All of us are aging, and the older generations are sources of the wisdom that comes from lived experience. With increasing years comes many new opportunities, as well as new challenges.
We welcome you to contact us for more information about how your parish can be a welcoming and caring community for all ages. Email us at [email protected] or call 781-8550.
Church Teaching About the Older Generation
Being an Age-Friendly Parish
How age-friendly is our parish? How do we create a parish where we can all “age in place”? Here are some questions for a small group, a committee, or pastoral council to consider.
Survey for Creating an Age Friendly Parish
Diocesan Services and Noteworthy Parish Models
Sample booklet [link to document] for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion visiting the homebound, the sick, and nursing homes. Based on Pastoral Care of the Sick, simplified and adapted for lay parishioners performing this essential ministry.
Every period of life can be a time of spiritual development. With years can come a maturing spirituality as well as an awareness of one’s dependency on God and others.
Serving Your Neighbor as a Volunteer
Your parish has many opportunities for you to serve Our Lord while serving others. Is there a need in your parish that isn’t being met? Consider getting together with some others and see how together you can meet that need. For other enriching volunteer opportunities, visit:
Opportunities for Lifelong Learning
Studies have shown that continuing to learn new things as we age has many benefits, including keeping our minds active and improving brain health. In-person classes also provide socialization, while online options give the convenience of learning from the comfort of your home and on your schedule.
Other companies that offer in-depth courses on subjects related to Catholicism, some by professors at Catholic universities, as well as many other general knowledge topics ranging from art to history to science to travel, include The Teaching Company and Learn25.
Computer Literacy and Access
The Digital Equity Center is dedicated to addressing the “digital divide” and providing “inclusion” for people who have issues using computers and accessing the internet with a priority on older adults. Their Aging Well with Technology curriculum provides free classes to develop computer skills and learn about technology. The program offers a low-cost subscription to a tablet and internet connections to Maine residents 70 years and older lacking access, along with tutoring.
Affordable Housing and Taking Steps to Age in Place
No one knows how long they will live, but anyone with responsibility for others should prepare for the inevitable. Catholic perspectives on end of life issues, and other resources, can be found on the Diocese of Portland’s “Three Beliefs” page. Guidance on Catholic Funeral Planning is also available on the diocesan website and in your parish office. https://portlanddiocese.org/cemeteries-and-funerals/pastoral-letter. Many funeral homes offer advanced planning and payment options that can be of great comfort to the bereaved.
Catholic social teaching reminds us that when we are blessed with abundance, we ought to consider the needs of others. Planned Giving is a way to leave a lasting legacy.
In partnership with Catholic parishes, Parish Social Ministry (PSM) is a resource specialist in the development and delivery of services that strengthens the capacity of parish communities to serve vulnerable people of all faiths. We provide leadership, guidance and training to those called to serve and those who are served. We do this with mutual respect and caring, Christ-centered compassion, insight and adaptability to meet the varied and changing needs of those we serve.
PSM works with parishes to empower parishioners to live out their baptismal call to serve the needs of those living right in their own communities. The program assists in establishing or enhancing current parish ministries and programs to address unmet community needs, gather and train volunteers, and help obtain any additional funding needed to implement these services.