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Emergency of a "pastoral of the elderly"

A reality that strikes us

Increased life expectancy and a better quality of life for longer years mean that more and more healthy older people are living longer. In less than 50 years, they have grown from 16% to 30% of the population. This poses economic, health - see what happened during the COVID-19 health crisis - social and ecclesial challenges.

The Church's Response

St. John Paul II himself, addressing some eight thousand elders received in audience on March 23, 1984, told them:  "Don't be surprised by the temptation of inner loneliness ... You still have a mission to fulfill, a contribution to give. »

Francis, via the Dicastery for the Laity, the Family and Life, denouncing  the "culture of rejection," proposes to" Consider the great population of the elderly as an active part of God's people and not just as an object of charitable attention."

In humility...

In light of all this, as the "Ascending Life", Movement of Retirees and Elders, we turn to our diocesan bishops, to ENCOURAGE THEM TO CREATE A DEPARTMENT OF THE PASTORAL OF ELDERLY IN EACH DIOCESE OF SPAIN and to seek the  cooperation of the parish priests to carry out this mission.

There is an urgent need to unite to create this diocesan service for the elderly, which is the exclusive responsibility of the bishops, at the disposal of which we place ourselves as faithful members of the Church and as the "Ascending Life"  Movement.

Content of a commission on the pastoral care of elders

  • SENIORS IN RESIDENCES.

It would be up to the commission:

  • To set up, in coordination with the parishes, a network of volunteers that collaborates in the pastoral and spiritual animation of the residents.
  • To provide the necessary training to volunteers who collaborate in the Pastoral in the Residences.

 

  • SENIORS AT RISK OF LONELINESS.

It would be up to the commission:

  • To establish protocols to identify isolated seniors - loneliness is not just physical
  • To create volunteer support for isolated adult

  • SENIORS INTEGRATED INTO ECCLESIAL COMMUNITY LIFE.

It would be up to the commission:

  • To celebrate the Feast of the Elders in all dioceses
  • To propose to all parishes the creation of "Ascending Life» groups that promote permanent formation

 

  • EVANGELISM IN THE WORLD OF ELDERS.

It would be up to the commission to:

  • To guide - once this experience has been lived - groups of "Ascending Life"
  • To organize pilgrimages, retreats, spiritual exercises, promoting intergenerational exchange

Abstract by Jaime Tamarit. Vida Ascendente Spain