Within St. Catherine and St. Sebastian parishes there are at least 700 people who are age 60 or older. Their interests vary tremendously. Some are single adults who have spent a lifetime with the parish but aren’t particularly engaged now. Others are couples who married, raised their children and continue to be active in the church. Still others may be widowed and have health problems.
A committee of parishioners from both parishes is exploring how we might reach out to older adults who worship and look to our two parishes for spiritual nourishment and social engagement.
“While we love to focus on our young people, it’s clear the population of the world is growing older, and it’s time to adjust to serving an older population. We see it every week at church as the majority of folks who attend on a regular basis are older,” says Steve O’Connell. A St. Sebastian parishioner, Steve is working with other committee members as part of the ongoing collaborative efforts.
The goals of Senior Ministry include:
- Engaging older adults at both parishes through sacramental outreach while providing cross-generational and appropriate worship experiences.
- Coordinating educational programs that are relevant to older adults.
- Enlivening the faith of the two parishes by promoting events that will engage parishioners of all ages in worship, spiritual growth and social engagement.
On-going efforts of Senior Ministry include:
- Launching a survey aimed at older parishioners to determine their issues and interests.
- Holding listening sessions at both parishes to find out about people’s attitudes concerning aging and elicit ideas about how we can serve all members of the parishes while we are more aware of each other’s needs.
- Conducting “Conversations” to learn how we can improve our outreach to our older members and our homebound members.
- Connecting school children and confirmation students in service to older adults.
- Engaging older adults with young people. Two groups – the Book Works and the Crafters Club – are already meeting with the school during lunch.
- Expanding current efforts to take Eucharist to homebound adults.
The committee meets on the second Thursday of each month at noon, alternating between St. Sebastian and St. Catherine parishes. Everyone is welcome, or if you can’t attend, you can request the notes. For more information email Steve O’Connell or call 414-445-7472.