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Dear Friends

Pope Francis Huntington

Pope Francis: Caregivers
as 'Travel Companions'

Week of May 22, 2017
Prayer Requests

Dear Friends,

You're probably aware that in recent days the news was filled with Pope Francis' meeting with President Trump. What you may not have heard about is last week the Holy Father met with those who have Huntington's Disease and their families.

Here's part of what he said:

Throughout his [Jesus] ministry, he met many sick people; he took on their suffering; he tore down the walls of stigma and of marginalization that prevented so many of them from feeling respected and loved.

For Jesus, disease is never an obstacle to encountering people, but rather, the contrary. He taught us that the human person is always precious, always endowed with a dignity that nothing and no one can erase, not even disease.

Fragility is not something bad. And disease, which is an expression of fragility, cannot and must not make us forget that in the eyes of God our value is always priceless.

Disease can also be an opportunity for encounter, for sharing, for solidarity. The sick people who encountered Jesus were restored above all by this awareness. They felt they were listened to, respected, loved.

May none of you ever feel you are alone; may none of you feel you are a burden; may no one feel the need to run away. You are precious in the eyes of God; you are precious in the eyes of the Church!

I now turn to the families. Those who experience Huntington's Disease know that no one can really overcome loneliness and despair if they do not have people at their side who, with self-sacrifice and steadfastness, make themselves "travel companions."

You are all this: fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, children, brothers and sisters who, on a daily basis, silently but effectively, accompany your family members on this difficult path. For you, too, at times, the path is an uphill climb.

For this reason, I encourage you, too, not to feel you are alone; not to give in to the temptation of the sense of shame or guilt. The family is the privileged place of life and of dignity, and you can cooperate to build that network of solidarity and of help that the family alone can guarantee, and which the family is first called to live. . . .

May the life of each of you — both of those who are directly affected by Huntington's Disease and those who work hard every day to support the sick in their pain and difficulty — be a living witness to the hope that Christ has given us.

Even through suffering there passes a path of abundant good, which we can travel together.

I thank all of you! May the Lord bless you, and please, do not forget to pray for me, as I will pray for you.

- - -

You can read more of Pope Francis' talk here.

And here's a video of the gathering:

- - - 

This week we're so pleased to welcome Mary K. W. and Mike K. of Ohio, Diane R. and Gerri G. of California, Eileen D. of Iowa, and Berta G. of Georgia as the newest members of the Friends of St. John the Caregiver. Please keep them and their intentions in your prayers. They have promised to pray for you and yours.

And again this week we cordially invite you to join the Friends of St. John the Caregiver! (FSJC's programs include YourAgingParent.com and CatholicCaregivers.com.) You can find out more about becoming a member here.

No meetings, no dues. All we ask is that you pray for caregivers and those receiving care. Our members include caregivers, care-receivers, and those who support both (including quite a few former caregivers).

You can:

sign up on-line here

or call us toll-free at 1-800-392-JOHN (5646)

or print and mail an application form.

God bless you!

Bill

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This site is designed for family caregivers.

It's for those who are helping a:

  • spouse
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