Program of propositions

 

We offer some thoughts from the speeches at the Congress of Rome " The richness of many years of life "; it is the result of the exchanges we have had several times in the Executive Committee (by videoconference). The pandemic has led you to invent new ways of working; it is a sign of vitality and a willingness to give LA a future: let these few tracks guide you either in the themes of reflection that you can propose to your members or in the actions that you can implement.

-1) Old age must be a time of fertility: May the elderly (Es) put at the service of society and the Church their availability and experience of life, nourished by their faith; this time of fertility must be recognized and valued in society and in the Church; St.  John Paul II said in 1984 that "you must feel active subjects of a humanly and spiritually fruitful period"

-2) All Es are actors in an evangelistic mission:    

  • participating in Church services
  • by accompanying dependents, by implementing "a pastoral of the ear» (Cardinal Farrell) or the "revolution of tenderness» (Pope Francis)
  • praying, when, weakened by age and illness, they can no longer "act" or engage

-3) Es have spiritual needs that need to be addressed:  hence the need to establish a specific catechism and a program of spiritual reflection (sense of old age, illness, dependence, how to approach the end of life, transmit the faith), all this allowing to deepen one's intimacy with God.

-4) PAs have a mission to accomplish with the younger  generations:

  • by being " spreaders " of values; they must bear witness to the 'art of being', the meaning of life.
  • by being " spreaders " of faith with their grandchildren or younger generations: what does faith bring to life?

The intergenerational dimension appears in most interventions; an idea close to Pope Francis' heart: "I dream of an alliance between the young and the old"

Some practical questions posed by our commitment to the implementation of this pastoral care:

  • What is the priority (or priorities) for your local Movement?
  • Who can we act with? Structures may already exist...
  • all of us, do we not have to intervene with Episcopal Conferences in a spirit of synodality?

These questions join the call expressed in her conclusion by Gabriella Gambino, undersecretary of the Dicastery for the Laity: to create networks of collaboration between dioceses, parishes, movements of lay people.

Monique Bodhuin