"The latter years may be a time of loneliness, withdrawal and fears or alternatively a serene flowering of much that has been growing throughout a long life. A skilled and loving ministry to the aging can be an important factor in dispelling the former and supporting the latter and is increasing a challenge and incentive to clergy and people. In meeting this challenge a parish can be greatly enriched through the faith, wisdom and experience of its older members." -- Intro.
Contents: Introduction / Maurice P. Wilkinson -- The Problems of Aging and Old Age / J.R.D. Bayne -- Ministering to the Older Person in the Urban Parish / Paul E.F. Brillinger -- Gaiety and Action / Muriel Hooper -- Bibliography -- A Meditation onAge for use in groups or by individuals -- Addendum -- For Thought and Action.
"Sr. Constance Murphy, the oldest nun at the Sisters of St. John the Divine (SSJD) convent in Toronto, died peacefully on Aug. 2, 2013, after a long life devoted to giving and service to others, young and old. She was 109. Born in Baltimore, Md., in 1904, Sr. Constance earned an education degree in 1928. She entered the SSJD in 1933 and became a sister in 1936, then went on to become head mistress of the Qu'Appelle Diocesan School in Regina. Later, Sr. Constance's ministry focused on the elderly. In 1973, at the age of 73, she completed a master's degree in adult education with a certificate in gerontology. She advocated for the aged and was an outspoken critic of ageism. Even at age 99, she was still busy ministering to the residents of two Toronto seniors' care centres. 'She was a jewel', said the Rev. Canon Derwyn Shea, rector of St. Hilda's Towers". [Text of entire article.]
"Are our churches ready for the 'greying' of Canada ? Last year, Statistics Canada reported that for the first time since 1871, Canadians 65 and older outnumber those under 14. There are 5.9 million seniors, compared to 5.8 million children". "The greying of Canada presents not just challenges, but opportunities, especially for churches". "There has been a tendency to view this demographic change with alarm, as a portent of the church's precipitous decline." "Not all older people are the same". "Some need pastoral care; others want to offer pastoral care". "Churches need too be mindful of these and other differences when introducing ministries and yes, vocations, for seniors. It's important to recognize that seniors have their own unique needs, but they also have gifts to offer. Some are using time regained in retirement to go back to church, rediscover their faith and be of service to others".