Pastoral caregivers are called to be agents of
mercy and compassion as they accompany their fellow parishioners during
difficult days. This ministry focuses primarily on the spiritual needs of
older adults..." With this jacket quote we are invited to walk with a
very special group of people, as diverse in interests, values, commitments,
struggles and needs as any other age group (that certainly refutes many
popular myths) as one who bear gifts (of faith), but, most of all, who
receive them back.
I love the pastoral work I do with the elderly
and cannot understand why other ministers and caregivers do not feel the
same. Yet I continue to meet elderly folks, at home, in the hospital, and
in a variety of facilities devoted to the care of the elderly, who
experience a very traumatic and sad sense of isolation one feels when cut
off from their God (or at least their religious communities).
Dymski offers important discussion on key issues and needs that we must
have continued information about, insights offered that also trigger our
desire to explore our own issues. There are also prayer and other
liturgical resources to facilitate pastoral visits. This book is an essential tool for ministry and providing care, and also
as an advocate for these good folks.
Reviewed by Richard Gilbert