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GRAYBY BOOMERS, OUR MUTUAL GUESTS | News Grab Articles
GRAYBY BOOMERS, OUR MUTUAL GUESTS PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Maedoc   
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 18:57

John Allen referenced the term Graybyboom when speaking about the demographic switch to a very large population of elderly in proportion to other age groups.  He makes the point that the elderly are the most promising "growth market' for the Churches 'product."   Apart from the unfortunate analogy, its certainly a good point.

John Allen referenced the term Graybyboom when speaking about the demographic switch to a very large population of elderly in proportion to other age groups.  He makes the point that the elderly are the most promising "growth market' for the Churches 'product."   Apart from the unfortunate analogy, its certainly a good point.

We all worry about a church with a growing proportion of elderly to younger parishioners because we are concerned about the number of younger Catholics not attending Mass.  We must remember that some of this trend is part of the demographic switch.  Perhaps it shouldn't be in a faith friendly to large families... but these parishioners are God's crop of flowers preparing for meeting the Lord.  Their spiritual welfare is of immediate importance.  Here is a quote from Allen's article:

All this suggests the need for a broad ‘gray-friendly’ consciousness in the church. To offer just one practical example, seminaries ought to be encouraging future homilists to slow down in their delivery, since elderly parishioners often struggle to hear when someone is speaking in rapid-fire fashion. Parishes should be ensuring that structures are accessible to the disabled, and to offer transportation programs for senior citizens. Even schedules may need to change. Parishes that cater to younger adults often start faith formation sessions or Bible study groups at 7:00 pm or later, on the theory that by this hour, participants will have returned home from work, taken care of their kids, had dinner, and be ready for something else. Senior citizens often might be more comfortable with events that begin in the early afternoon. All of this should be worked out in local settings by talking to the elderly themselves.

annaarco_photoAnna Arco has a very nice post discussing Allen's article.  She points to a couple signs that things are heading in the right direction.  I think the quote from Achbishop Nichols is especially pointed:

"I would like to remind you of an old adage that the true value of a society is to be judged by the way in which it treats its elderly and those who are most vulnerable. I think that is a sobering thought, which gives the lie to claims that are sometimes made that we are a most well developed society."


The elderly are the one group of friends in the church that I believe can teach us the most about what it means to be human.  In their dependence, one that they acknowledge and which has taught them humility, they demonstrate virtue and teach us more than anyone about the importance of finding peace in life.  We deserve their wisdom and friendship.  I for one have been motivatd by this article.  What more can we do for someone than to help them get to Mass, especially on a feast day, and enkindle through our relationship that fire for the Lord.


O Most Holy Trinity, Creator of creation, guide and strengthen our freindship with the elderly.


 


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 July 2011 20:01
 

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