Today’s Catholic – President’s Corner Submission for 04/12/19
Celebrating Seniors Because They Deserve It
Our seniors are such an important asset to our community. Many have worked with dedication to career or raising a family which equals a lifetime of skills, experiences, and wisdom. It simply does not seem just or even humane to let them fall into isolation when they are so incredibly valuable to our families and our community.
Pope Francis says, “the Church regards the elderly with affection, gratitude, and high esteem. They are an essential part of the Christian community and of society: in particular they represent the roots and the memory of a people. You are an important presence, because your experience is a precious treasure, which is essential if we would look to the future with hope and responsibility. Your maturity and wisdom, accumulated over the years, can help younger people in search of their own way, supporting them on the path of growth and openness to the future.” (“Pope Francis on the Elderly,” August 24, 2017)
Through our Catholic identity, we engage seniors because they make a difference in the overall well-being of our society. Two Catholic Charities programs, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Foster Grandparents Program (FGP) specifically engage seniors with the intention to provide love and hope for the most vulnerable in our community.
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is a volunteer network for seniors 55 and over. RSVP volunteers supplement the work of Catholic Charities by lending senior wisdom and experience to our many programs. Many times, RSVP volunteers can be found leading service efforts with our youth as they have done during our Lenten service campaign, 40 Days of Service. They also tutor and mentor youth, teach English as a Second Language, assist with crisis response, and so much more.
The same can be said of the Foster Grandparents Program (FGP). Foster Grandparent volunteers are the hands, feet, and heart of our youth programs. They help children with one-on-one tutoring, mentor at-risk youth, and care for children who have been abused and neglected. FGP volunteers can be found within our family of agencies like the Seton Home Child Development Center nurturing, playing, and assisting with their needs. FGP volunteers are also dispersed around our entire community assisting children who need a grandparent-like mentor to give them love and respect with dignity.
Catholic Charities, and others across our great city, is so very thankful for the service of our dear seniors and we welcome any opportunity to celebrate them! On Friday, April 19th, Catholic Charities will host Senior Fiesta, the only city-sanctioned Fiesta event for seniors. Senior Fiesta is a free event with music, entertainment, and vendors that exhibit on site with information and resources useful to seniors in their homes or for recreation. The event will bring the fun with singers, dancers, and even the Fiesta Senior Services Royal court! Seniors are encouraged to dress in Fiesta-attire and simply show up ready to fiesta! No registration is required.