|dc.description.abstract||The need to which I wish to respond is one I meet in my work with the aging or elderly.
I conduct retreat days for senior citizens throughout the diocese
and I have frequently felt vibrations of apathy, of I don't belong
any more or I am not wanted. I feel concern because such attitudes
indicate both alienation and segregation. Segregation of the
elderly in our society does exist. Feelings of alienation among
those society considers elderly do exist. These are not just
secular, societal problems. We must accept the sad truth that
these same problems are present within our faith-communities.
There are times when it is easy to feel like an outsider, unwanted.
Such reactions prepare fertile ground for a host of other
undesirable, and often unwarranted feelings which upset the balance
necessary for a happy, fulfilled life, e.g., being unwanted must
mean being unloved and therefore, having nothing to offer the
community. When such feelings are allowed to persist and grow the
natural reaction is to withdraw from the community. The operative
attitude becomes the desire to avoid going where unwanted and to
seek out those who share similar feelings. This in itself
contributes to the feelings of isolation. It can become a vicious
circle, one which is almost unbreakable.||en_US