The theme for Older Americans Month 2012, Never Too Old to Play encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities. In celebration of Older Americans Month, we held our annual “Residents’ Day” on May 18. This event highlights the contributions made by our elders while fostering a real team spirit among staff, volunteers, Resident families and Little Sisters.
Our chefs put out a tasty lunch which was complemented by two special additions: Brian Malone owner of Shannon’s Pub in Ellicott City, was very generous in donating Crab Soup and Crab Balls, for all the Residents. What a treat, they loved it! We thank Mr. Malone for his generosity and for helping to make the Residents happy!
In the afternoon Residents were invited to an intergenerational carnival where they could try their skills at the bean bag toss or the crab toss. If that was not interesting there was always bowling and table top horse racing.
The reward for their labors was a delicious, freshly made Belgian waffle with strawberries and cream as well as raffle prizes. But no one left empty handed, with prepared gifts for all.
At the morning Mass our chaplain offered a special blessing for the Residents and concluded with the following prayer.
We thank you for the presence of older people who are truly a blessing for society. May we always recognize that each generation learns from the experience and wisdom of those who precede it and remember that caring for the elderly should not be considered so much an act of generosity as the repayment of a debt of gratitude.
Grant us the grace to recall the Fourth Commandment of honoring our father and our mother, as you Lord command, mindful that our days may be prolonged, and that all may go well with us. May the work of the Church for the aging and infirm not only provide love and care for them, but also be rewarded by God wherever this commandment is duly observed.
May the Church’s witness of proper respect for the dignity and worth, the health and well-being of the elderly through its charitable efforts strive to fulfill the Lord’s command to respect life, regardless of age or circumstances.
May all believers proclaim, in both word and deed, that life is a unique gift, at every stage from conception until natural death, and it is God’s alone to give and to take. May we never be afraid to share in the suffering of Jesus, if God wills that we struggle with infirmity, mindful that it is a share in the mystery of Christ, who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.
May our Blessed Lady and her spouse Saint Joseph intercede for us that our happiness in this life and obtain for us the blessing of a serene passage to the next. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
This prayer is adapted from the September 18, 2010 address given by Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to St. Peter’s Home in London operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor.