Newspaper Archive of
The Message
Evansville, Indiana
August 30, 1996     The Message
PAGE 10     (10 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 10     (10 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
August 30, 1996

Newspaper Archive of The Message produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2021. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

IV The Message m for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana August 30, 1996 Nun-author aims book at spiritual needs of elderly By JULIE ASHER Catholic News Service Until Sister Sandra DeGidio was elected president of her order, the Servants of Mary, she never paid too much attention to the nursing home run by the sisters. But during her six-year tenure, she said, she fell in love with the elderly. "There is such a beauty and a wisdom in them," said Sister DeGidio, author of a new book on prayer aimed at residents of nursing homes and retirement facilities. While she was president, the Servants of Mary expanded their nursing home, adding beds and including areas for assisted living and for independent liv- ing. But the inspiration for her Prayer Book Sister Sandra DeGidio, OSM, is the author of Giving Comfort and Joy, a book of prayer services for the elderly. It con- tains prayers and rituals for liturgical seasons, holidays and other special occasions. 3 00()UT ]? Q: Why would anyone pre-plan their funeral? A: Justa few reasons... Spare your family from this task at a difficult time. Lower costs. Secure your Veterans, Social Security or Medicaid benefits. Peace of mind. ALEX00,NDER 'FUNER, HOMES 'The One Place For All Your Arrangements" For more information, call (812) 424-5600 or return the coupon below. --- I arrangement, Please provide me with information on: t / | [] Advance Funeral Planning [] Veterans & Social | [] Funeral & Burial Expenses Security Benefits Name , | I Address | cty "-.--: ...... l State Zip ' =:%=: " ,/ l ! I No Cost or Obligation / PO. Box 6061 Eanstlle. IN 47719-0061 .j ,1994 M Market)fJ book, "Giving Comfort and Joy: Prayer Services for the Elderly" published by Twenty-Third Pub- lications, came from chaplains and pastoral ministers who work with the elderly. They challenged her to put'together a book that would address the spiritual well-being of older adults. "Spiritual well-being is crucial to successful aging. When all else goes, spirituality remains, a strength that can endure to the end," Sister DeGidio wrote in the book's introduction. The "continued spiritual de- velopment" of older adults is di- rectly related to their participa- tion in worship and group prayer, she said. "Prayer and rituals help them respond to their inner needs and their faith." Allowing older adults to participate in the rituals they have known all their lives can keep them from becoming anx- ious or depressed. An active spiritual life also helps the elderly "in accepting death," she said in a telephone interview from her home in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek. "I think we are able to ac- cept death when we have lived well." The author of seven books, Sister DeGidio has previously written about family catechesis, sacraments, liturgy and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. She writes a monthly column for a health care newsletter and has worked as a consultant for inde- pendent-living residences and assisted-living facilities. Her new 104-page volume is organized in a workbook-style format in three sections. The first, "Liturgical Seasons," in- cludes an Advent ritual, Hanukkah, blessing of the Christmas tree and creche, Epiphany and psalms for Lent. The next section, "Minor Church Feasts," covers New Year's Day, St. Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, feasts of Mary and others. The largest section is "Cele- bratory Days and Special Occa- sions." In it, Sister DeGidio pre- sents a ritual for birthdays and anniversaries, a service that can be adapted for various civic hQ1- idays, celebrations for the four seasons, and services to use when a fellow resident dies, when the adult child or spouse of a resident dies or even just for times of"sadness, anxiety, frus- tration, doubt." This section also has rituals for welcoming new residents or celebrating the work of the caregivers or simply to give thanks for good news. For each ritual in her book, Sister DeGidio makes sugges- tions on how to prepare the room that will be used and the materials to use. In addition, she provides opening prayers, responses, citations for the ap- propriate readings, closing prayers and a suggested closing hymn. She also urges advance preparation for those leading the service. She provides tips on how to use the book, encouraging those who do to be creative in adapt- ing what she has outlined to their particular circumstances. Among the recommendations she offers includes developing familiarity with the particular needs of the group which is being ministered to and being sensitive to the challenges con- fronting "third agers," such as loss of hearing, sight, mobility and cognition. Other challenges she identi- fies are "challenges to self," "challenges of loneliness" and "challenges of skin-hunger." For the self, she said, involve- ment in prayer rituals can raise older adults' self-esteem. Lone- liness, she added, can some- times lead to bitterness, but group prayer can help alleviate such feelings. "Skin-hunger" she defines as the need to be touched or hugged. She suggests incorpo: rating "touch and symbols of touch" in prayer, such as hand- holding and gestures of blessing. As the U.S. population ages, meeting the spiritual needs of older adults will become in- creasingly important, Sister DeGidio said. She said she is impressed by the many parishes across the United States that have volun- teers going into nursing homes and retirement facilities and with formation programs that exist for pastoral ministers. But, she added, "I think there is cer- tainly more than could be done." What concerns her more than parish involvement, though, is "what's happening in nursing homes themselves," she said. Facilities are trimming their budgets, leaving little room to hire a chaplain, she added. 'Tin hearing that more and more and more," she said. "[ think what is going to ... have to happen is parish pastoral min- isters are going to need to reach out more." Stewardship by the Book In Sunday's second read- ing, St. Paul exhorts the Romans to total steward- ship. Brothers and sisters, he urges, " . . . offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God." FUNERAL HOME PRE- PLANNING... BECAUSE YOU CARE Charles H. Browning FUNERAL DIRECTOR (Father) Jean Browning-Hester FUNERAL DIRECTOR (Daughter) THOUGHTFUL & PERSONAL SERVICE "IRREVOCABLE FUNERAL TRUST" SERVING THE COMMUNITY FOR OVER 35 YEARS 425 2896 738 DIAMOND AVE., EVANSVILLE ation Wort Lik work Patte aing, along and a Ap essa