20 June 2011

Prayer for those with dementia

The link to the video was sent by my friend Frances Molloy (photo below), founder of the Pastoral Care Project in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, England. I was involved with the Project to a limited degree while based in Solihull, near Birmingham, from 2000 to 2002.

Here is a brief history of the Project from its website:

In 1989, I was leading a Spiritual Development programme (Light Out of Darkness written by Sr Kathleen O’Sullivan SSL) and the theme of that particular week was ‘finding God in my weakness’, Romans 8.26-27. I met a lady with dementia in an EMI (Elderly and Mentally Infirm) Ward at the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, while visiting as a church volunteer. She was also blind and yet seemed to have an awareness which captured my attention. She couldn't remember her name – and yet she had this great awareness of God and others. Reflecting on the scripture and the visit, I became aware of how special and unique each person is. The visit highlighted that God still communicates his love through people with dementia and that listening was the way of understanding and meeting their spiritual needs. This was an inspirational visit, which led to the Project taking off in 1994, after many years of prayer and research.

Frances Molloy, Project Manager.
Check out the Project's website.


Shandon Belle said...

What a wonderful response to a real issue. It was once said to me that the illnesses of old age, especially the intellectual ones, are God's way of taking them slowly out of this world to prepare them for the next. If so, it is anything but painless, especially for those around them.

God bless the work!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this, Father, my mother suffered from dementia and I also suffered as her caregiver. This was before my conversion to the Catholic faith, in fact, I believe that the suffering we both endured led directly to my conversion of heart. God can work great things through our suffering. The Pastoral Care Project would have been a great blessing to us (but as you know we are in the USA).