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Seniors: Embraced By God’s Gifts of Age & Grace

Fr. Charlie Banks, OMI, speaks to seniors about how they are “Embraced By God’s Gifts of Age & Grace” at the 2nd annual Catholic Seniors’ Conference, organized by Pilgrim Center of Hope at the request of Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS.

Seniors: The Joy of Being Known by God

Dr. Margarett Schlientz speaks on “The Joy of Being Known by God” at the 2nd annual Catholic Seniors’ Conference, organized by Pilgrim Center of Hope at the request of Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS.

Encouraged, At My Friend’s Funeral

Attending funeral services is both sad and inspiring. Sad, because we are mourning the loss of a family member or friend. Inspiring, because it reminds us of the way the Catholic Church honors the deceased person through the prayers, incensing, and blessings.

I attended a funeral service of a dear friend in his parish church. The casket was placed in the front of the main sanctuary. The piano and violin spiritual music in the background added to the atmosphere of sadness, but also as a reminder of our final destination—eternal life with God.

Memories of my friend came to mind; his blue eyes, his gentle soul, his big smile, and his love for God. He was now lying at rest, in this Church where he had worshipped with his family, where he had experienced a community of friends and support through the years.

The service begins when the priest sprinkles the casket with holy water as a reminder of our baptism. Then, a white pall is placed on top of the casket by his family members. As a child, he was baptized and dressed in white; now we once again dress him in white. The priest offering Mass may something similar to this:
In the waters of baptism (name of person) died with Christ and rose with him to new life. May he now share with him eternal glory.

The entire service, which is the Mass of the Resurrection, is rich in its prayers—reminding us of the omnipotent mercy of our Savior. At the end, the priest offers the last prayers for my friend.

Saints of God, come to his aid!
Hasten to meet him, angels of the Lord!
May Christ, who called you, take you to himself;
may angels lead you to the bosom of Abraham.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.

I was inspired at my friend’s funeral Mass. These same words will be prayed for me one day. The saints of God will come to my aid! The angels of the Lord will meet me and lead me to the bosom of Abraham. What hope! This reminded me of the vast spiritual richness of our Catholic faith! As baptized members, we are united in this One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church! The words of these prayers are written for all Catholic clergy to follow throughout the world. These prayers unite us as members of the Body of Christ.

As I continued to think about this, I walked out of that Church, following my friend as he was escorted by family and friends to his final resting place.

The Psalms abound in hope:

My soul, be at rest in God alone,
from whom comes my hope.
God alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not fall.
(Psalm 62:6-7)

Guiding people to live each day with this hope is our mission for Pilgrim Center of Hope. As our chaplain Fr. Pat Martin says, “What a gift.”


Mary Jane Fox, D.H.S. is Co-Founder & Co-Director of Pilgrim Center of Hope with her husband, Deacon Tom Fox. The two left their careers after a profound conversion experience and began working full-time in ministry at their parish in 1986. After several years and having impacted tens of thousands of families, the Foxes founded Pilgrim Center of Hope in 1993 as a response to the Church’s call for a New Evangelization. Mary Jane is an invested member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a Dame of the Holy Sepulchre.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Aging with Grace

Our society does anything but value aging. “Anti-aging” is more than a facial cream or a hair product; it’s a widespread attitude. What does our faith say about aging, besides our need to respect the elderly? What is our calling as we age?

Did you know that senior citizens are the subject of many of Pope Francis’ messages?

Catholicism Live! was a weekly program produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope from the early 2000s until 2019.

Popes’ Quotes on Elderly

Did you know that Pope Francis is especially concerned for those in the later years of life?

Here is an excerpt from one of his morning homilies:

Pope Francis cited the Letter to the Hebrews. “There we read: ‘Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God: consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith’ (13:7). The remembrance of our ancestors leads us to imitate their faith. It is true that old age is at times unpleasant, because of the illnesses it brings. But the wisdom of our grandparents is the inheritance we ought to receive. A people that does not care for its grandparents, that does not respect its grandparents, has no future since it has lost its memory.

You can read a collection of messages from our Popes about seniors, the elderly, and grandparents, by visiting our Catholic Seniors’ Conference page.

Or, you can call Pilgrim Center of Hope to request a flyer with some excerpts. Call 210-521-3377.

Serving the Dying

What exactly are deacons? How do they minister to persons who are dying, and families of the deceased? Join Father Ed Hauf, OMI, for this very special episode, with special guest Deacon Jesse Nunez (St. Henry Church), about the ministry of deacons.

In particular, Deacon Jesse will speak from his ministerial experience on:

  • Hospice ministry
  • Advice for families dealing with hospice situations
  • Dealing with death in the family
  • Giving loved ones a Catholic funeral
  • Catholic burial

Aging Gracefully

Robert Rodriguez, Jessica Rendon and Greg Camacho talk about the graces that come with old age and caring for the elderly infirm.

Catholicism Live! was a weekly program produced by Pilgrim Center of Hope from the early 2000s until 2019.

Related

Catholic Seniors’ Conference

The Catholic Seniors’ Conference

In preparation for the 3rd annual Catholic Seniors’ Conference, founders Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox spoke with Robert Rodriguez and Jeffrey Huber – members of the Steering Committee – about this unique event for senior citizens and anyone who cares about a senior.

Listen to this week’s episode:

Watch this week’s episode: