The confreres of the General Council who visit the communities of our elderly confreres are often impressed by their interest in the mission and in our missionary Society. This reflects the missionary dynamism that continues to support their lives in their retirement.
One of the preoccupations of the last Chapter was exactly that: “Sustaining the missionary dynamism of our sick and elderly confreres while providing them with appropriate care (medical, psychological, and spiritual)” (CA 5.3). Some of those responsible for the communities of our elders have accepted to share briefly the spirit which reigns in our retirement homes.
Growing old and the loss of some mobility is not a reason to let go of one’s ideal or to quit. It is sensible to adopt a strategy adapted to one’s means and to do what one can with what one has. One remains totally a missionary even if sometimes one’s activities are limited to praying for those who are involved directly in pastoral work, those who are preparing for it and those who serve us all. We need our old people.