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