Maureen who is in her late sixties was one of our participants on our Talk show – Ageing Gracefully. With tears in her eyes and fear painted all over her face, she asked, “My one fear about death is dying alone because I stay by myself.So, when I close the door at night, that’s when I get frightened. How to deal with that?”
There are many like Maureen who is in need of pastoral care for the elderly. The needs of the ageing are of important concern for all Church Communities and special to us Redemptorists. They are many questions and concerns, and discussing them in an open forum is one way to care for them. Keeping this in mind, we at RMC have begun a new talk show on our YouTube Channel – Redemptorist Media Center, Bangalore (https://www.youtube.com/@RMCBangalore). It is titled “Ageing Gracefully- A Talk Show for Evergreens.”
A panel of three with a live audience discuss a selected topic concerning the elderly for each episode. The first two episodes addressed the question of how to deal with change and Loss as we grow old. Fr. Juventius Andrade, C.Ss.R., (Former General Consultor and Scripture Professor) highlighted the pastoral reality of those struggling to deal with change and loss as they age. He discussed the need to journey from independence to interdependence and to dependence. Dr John Tharakan, the second panellist, an Alumnus of St. John Medical College, Bangalore, MIT and Harvard, USA spoke about the physical aspect of ageing and how we need to understand the changes that happen to the human body and how to cope with such changes. Gila Pereira, hosting the programme connected with the audience with her own experiences. The series also aims to discuss issues concerning caregivers and families who have the responsibility of looking after the elderly.
The first episode of Ageing Gracefully has crossed 22k views and has created a buzz among our audience. There were many positive reactions from the viewers. One of them read,
“This first episode was really lovely! I really love that [one] it addressed things from both the physical and spiritual sides and [two] it used two panellists who expertly addressed things from their respective specialisations (Medical Doctor and Catholic Priest) and did so in a holistic manner that complemented each other. I look forward to more…”
The Third Episode addressed the question of how to deal with loneliness and feeling unproductive among the elderly. Again, this is a very real and difficult reality. While the panellists discussed the pastoral and medical aspects of the problem, the audience added their own experiences of how they have been dealing with it themselves. There were some practical tips that were highlighted on how one could plan their retirement, and what the mental and spiritual disposition required to make the best of their golden years.
We at RMC believe caring for the elderly is an inescapable pastoral concern and an important Redemptorist ministry who are called to preach the Gospel to the most abandoned. Following the tradition of St. Alphonsus who out of pastoral need wrote “Preparation for Death,” RMC strives to find new ways to cater to the pastoral needs of the elderly, and “Ageing Gracefully” is one small step forward.
Watch the series and share it with those who will benefit from this. Please share your suggestions and topics you want us to discuss through our email – email@example.com
AGEING GRACEFULLY Playlist – https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnheo3GZIbvlke8OeoW4-NSUp7LqbYmgp
01. AGEING GRACEFULLY – A Talk show for Evergreens – Part 1 – How to Deal with Change & Loss
02. AGEING GRACEFULLY – A Talk show for Evergreens – Part 2: How to Deal With Change & Loss
03. AGEING GRACEFULLY – A Talk show for Evergreens- Part 1: Are you feeling lonely and unproductive?
Many more to come…
Fr. Charles Vijay Kumar, C.Ss.R.
Director – Redemptorist Media Center, India