Sr. Christine Schenk shares the story of the Living Room Retreats project, which brings the gifts of Ignatian spirituality to seniors. The program was started by Joanne Sheldon, a spiritual director and former nurse educator. Participants report loving praying with Scripture.
Joanne’s elders were dealing with an array of spiritual concerns, including strained family relationships, accepting the aging process, how to deal with change, and worries about where they would live the rest of their lives. They wanted to know how to pray and to explore different ways of praying. One person asked, “How do I know what God is saying to me?” Joanne’s straightforward reply brought light: “Only by sitting in prayer can we learn.”
Although few experienced any “big revelation” by the end of the program, most felt a greater confidence in God and were able to trust more deeply. “God will take care of me,” said one 100-year-old woman, “and now I have the Scriptures to fall back on.”
JoAnn,what a wonderful idea! I am also a nurse and an Associate with the Sisters of Charity. I am starting a small circle at a local Asst Care Facility -starting slow with hand massages and hoping to gain their trust so we can discover other topics they may enjoy. So exciting to meet folks where the need is.