The Church of 
St. Bartholomew
A Catholic Community
In the Archdiocese of
New York

                                                 Family Life Commission

                                                                              Seniors Ministry

                                        Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is found on the path of righteousness.

                                                                                (Proverb 16:31)

US statistics show that:

  • 34% of all Americans is 50 years of age or older.
  • Every 7 seconds another person turns 50.
  • People age 65+ number 35 million – that’s 1 out of every 8 Americans.
  • As of July 1983, there were more adults age 65 or older than teenagers in the country.
  • More than 200 Americans reach age 100 each week.

Origin of Senior Ministry at St. Bart’s                                    
As one Walgreens ads says, life is not perfect and that’s why we have Walgreens. American dream for seniors includes retirement parties, restaurant discounts, investment pay-offs, leisure time for grandchildren, travel, and rest. However, reality may be very different. Instead of financial freedom, many seniors are facing financial burden. Instead of places to go many are facing health limitations. Instead of marital bliss, there may be widowhood.

 Purpose/Goals of the Ministry
As a parish, we want our seniors and indeed all seniors to truly know that:

  • They are loved and appreciated
  • We acknowledge their usefulness and significance
  • We accept and respect them as viable members of our parish and community

  • Provide faith formation and spiritual growth programs
  • Provide counseling about spiritual and family issues
  • Provide recreation
  • Provide information and education regarding money, finances, wills, trusts, etc
  • Provide health related information and education
  • Provide transportation assistance where and when we could

Some General Activities Our Seniors are involved in

  • Spiritual Growth

Often the older we get the more important religion becomes in our lives because time pressures and life responsibilities have lessened. Also life experiences help us understand Christ’s teachings on a deeper level.

  • Learning Opportunities

There’s a myth that seniors are not interested in learning. Through formal and informal activities and programs our adults are involved in learning.

  • Socialization

Mostly people think of this first when they think of senior ministry. The need for interaction with other people continues throughout our lives. St. Bart’s Senior Ministry strives to provide fulfilling and rewarding social activities.

  • Service Opportunities

Often we fail to tap the potentials of our older parishioners, playing into that frequent message of the society that says seniors have outlived their usefulness. Here at St. Bart’s we strive to provide our seniors with opportunities to serve as well as be served, to minister as well as be ministered to.

Some Specific Activities

  • Field Trips
  • Exercise and Fitness Classes (designed for their age)
  • Game Day (including games that involve mental stimulation)
  • Participate in Parish Adoration & Prayer Ministry (Volunteers are regularly needed – and can pray from the comfort of their homes).
  • Life Review – older adults participate in life review and reminiscence classes
  • Living History – older adults share their life journey and faith story on video or audio or in writing. These could be placed on parish website. They could also share them orally with our children, youth and young adults.
  • Lunch Partners – Older adults are invited to eat lunch once a week or once a month with a homebound member in his/her home
  • Marriage Enrichment – older married couples are invited to marriage enrichment programs
  • Mentoring – older adults are invited to serve as mentors for our young ones
  • Visitation – older adults visit other older adults who are homebound, lonely, hospitalized, institutionalized, and dying.
  • Telephone Reassurance – older adults make frequent calls to others

                                                  Senior Ministry Coordinator Position Description

Reports to:         Report to Commission Co-Chairs

General Responsibilities of Every Ministry and Committee Chairperson and Coordinator:

Specific Responsibilities of Senior Ministry Coordinator

  • Coordinate activities of the Seniors
  • Explore new activities for the Seniors, with help from the Commission and Stewardship Committee
  • Delegate some of the tasks to some of the members of the Senior Ministry
  • Strive to make the ministry one that is for the seniors by the seniors
  • Help inform parish office of any senior members who is sick or in the hospital so that a priest would visit them and EMHC could bring Communion to them

 Special Activities

  • Host an orientation for new members of the Senior Ministry, if and when needed
  • Attend Annual parish Leadership training
  • Attend annual parish Ministry Recollection Day
  • Annual Parish Ministry Appreciation Dinner
  • Help with Annual Stewardship Fair

Time of Commitment

  • Needs time to explore and plan activities for the ministry, bearing in mind the need to delegate a lot of the activities to members of the ministry who are able and available to help
  • Needs time to execute the planned activities of the group, once more delegating tasks to others.

Expected Length of Commitment
At least three years.

           General Qualifications Required of Every Ministry and Committee Chairperson and Coordinator:

Specific Qualifications Required

  • Ability to appreciate and value seniors and what they bring to the table
  • Ability to explore new activities
  • Ability to plan, coordinate and execute activities
  • Ability to work with others, especially since the Coordinator needs to delegate members to help run the ministry so that it becomes St. Bart’s ministry to the seniors by the seniors, and not for the seniors.
  • Organized and dependable

Other Things The Coordinator Shall Keep In Mind
For the Success of the ministry, the Coordinator shall:

  • Work with the Outreach and Evangelization Commission Chair to find out services provided by government agencies in our community
  • Bear in mind that some of agencies may be willing to present workshops and education seminars here at St. Bart’s.
  • Work with the Pastor and Commission Co-Chairs to regularly:

                     Inform parishioners of the achievements of our seniors.
                     Eliminate the errors and myths about old age.
                     Educate people about the changing needs of the aging.
                     Use our Sunday Masses to inform parishioners about our aging and senior adults.

Facts and Ideas that will enhance the ministry:

  • Explore and implement programs that will help to fulfill the purpose and goals of the Ministry
  • Always take into consideration the facts that some of the families of our seniors have scattered, and some of the close friends of our seniors have died, and the incomes of our seniors are often limited.
  • Be aware that their concern and fear can become overbearing, and that our ministry to them can bring renewal to their hearts and minds.
  • Be aware that not all seniors will be as actively involved as others due to personal circumstances.
  • However, remember to keep everyone informed of any ministry activities available regardless of how often they attend.
  • Visit other Senior programs in our area – we may benefit from their experience.

Click here for Bereavement Ministry