Sr Catherine, who was born in 1923, reflected on the opportunities as well as the challenges that growing older offers. Since her own retirement from full time work, Sr Catherine has undertaken a number of different and rewarding roles. “I have been ‘recycled’ in many surprising ways” she said. Sr Catherine reminded us that God’s ways are not our ways and the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Simeon and Anna remind us that God expects surprising things from older people.
Sr Mary Bernard invited everyone to consider older age as having the potential to be a time of blessing. “These years can be a blessing when we come to understand that it is the quality of what we think and say that makes us valuable members of society, not how fast or busy we are.” Sr Mary acknowledged the fear that the physical effects of ageing can bring, and reflected on the need to recognise our fears to live these years well. “Old age enlightens – not simply ourselves but those around us” she concluded.
There was time for discussion in small groups throughout the day, and many people enjoyed their lunch in the glorious sunshine sitting in St Aelred’s garden.
“Today has been real therapy”, commented one of the attendees, “Better than medicine”.
If you are interested in holding a Day of Reflection for older people in your parish then call Rachel on 07702 255142 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .