Blessings of Age, is a Pastoral Message on Growing Older within the Faith Community. It is addressed to Older Persons, Caregivers, Pastors, Pastoral Staff, and Parishioners. Following is an excerpt from the final section addressed to Pastors and Pastoral Staff. Because parishes differ in their particular needs and resources, we offer a few foundational principles for parish ministry with older persons.
1. Older people are providers, not just recipients, of pastoral care.
2. Older people themselves should help to identify their pastoral needs and decide how they are met.
3. Older people are as diverse, if not more so, than other generational groups.
4. Older people need a mix of activities that connect them with each other, as well as the larger faith community.
5. Spiritual health affects and is affected by the individual’s physical, emotional, mental, and social health. While the faith community is especially concerned about meeting spiritual needs, it cannot ignore these other realities.