The month of June is dedicated to Adult Faith Formation for the ministries of the Office of Formation for Discipleship. It is also Seniors’ Month in Ontario. This office is committed to help parishes support all adults to grow and mature in their faith. One of our specialized areas of parish ministry is the Ministry with Maturing Adults, for those aged 50+. Below, Sr. Janet Schaeffler, OP, shares her insights on parish maturing adult ministry.
Seniors’ Month (June) and the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly (July)
1. Why is the ministry with maturing adults important today?
So many reasons; two of them:
2. What are some benefits of a parish ministry with maturing adults?
This population is the fastest growing in Canada, throughout the world, certainly in our parishes. The benefits of our ministry are many – for maturing adults and for the whole parish:
3. What advice do you have for parishes starting a Ministry with Maturing Adults?
4. Why is it important to celebrate Seniors’ Month (June) and the World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly (July)?
Parishes often focus on children, youth and parents. We should; as well as recognizing all in our parish. These celebrations provide one opportunity to affirm the importance and giftedness of maturing adults.
Often expectations are that this ministry will promote spiritual growth, such as prayers, devotions, etc. There is little recognition that spirituality is intertwined with all life. These celebrations provide an opportunity to see all moments of life as holy.
Pope Francis speaks often of the vocation of maturing adults, recognizing "our societies are not ready, spiritually and morally, to give this period of life its full worth." We need to take every opportunity to change that!