WASHINGTON (August 15, 2000) -- The U.S. bishops have called for Catholics to celebrate the Jubilee Day for older persons, September 24.
To assist people in marking the occasion, the bishops have issued a resource packet with aids for individuals, families, parishes and dioceses, including jubilee prayers for older persons, suggestions for liturgical celebrations, workshops and reflections. The information in the packet is not limited to the September 24 date, but may be used whenever needed.
Dioceses and parishes across the nation are encouraged to plan events to mark the Jubilee Day for Older Persons, according to the U.S. Bishops' Committee on the Laity.
The Bishops set as the theme, "Celebrating the Blessings of Age," a reference to the their November 1999 pastoral letter "The Blessings of Age."
Church leaders invite people to consider how God has been with us through all our life experiences. They ask older persons to reflect on how God continues to be active in their lives and the life of the Church. The celebration will give seniors the opportunity to share their wisdom and experience with other generations, as they continue to grow in faith.
Bishop John J. McRaith, of Owensboro, Kentucky, the Chair of the Laity Committee stated that, "[t]he Jubilee Day gives us the perfect opportunity to celebrate the wisdom of our elders, and their service to the community, as well as to reach out to those older persons who need our support and encouragement."
Blessings of Age, the pastoral message on growing older within the faith community, is available in English and Spanish from the U.S. bishops' publications office at 800-235-8722, as is the illustrated Blessings Bookmark suitable for distribution throughout dioceses and parishes. The statement is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Samoan, Portuguese, and Laotian on the Internet at www.nccbuscc.org/laity/blesssings/index.htm. It can also be ordered in Vietnamese from the Vietnamese Apostolate at Mary Queen of Vietnam Church by calling 504-254-5660. In addition, it can be obtained in Braille, large print and audiocassette from the Xavier Society for the Blind at 212-473-7800. The resource packet can be found at the NCCB website and may be also ordered directly through the Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth at 202 541-3040 for $2.