Thursday April 9, 2020
1:00 pm

Follow Us!

NWICatholic The Northwest Indiana Catholic would love to share some of our hometown heroes helping in the fight against the COV…
NWICatholic Friends please read the latest message from Bishop McClory...
NWICatholic Friends, Bishop McClory announced that he set up an email address specifically to read your prayer intentions. You…
NWICatholic Bishop McClory invites us to unite in prayer at noon and 6 p.m. each day. Watch his full video message on YouTube
NWICatholic Bishop McClory will celebrate Mass at 11 a.m. on March 22. Click this link to watch the live stream:
NWICatholic The Pastoral Center in Merrillville (where the NWI Catholic office is located) will be closed tomorrow Jan. 30 because of extreme cold.
NWICatholic "This horror is the antithesis of everything that Jesus Christ and the Church purport to be about." Read more this…

Vatican recommends creative ways for faithful to protect elderly from loneliness


Lois Best, 91, waves from a window as her daughters, Sharon Ganote and Lynda Brisco, are reflected blowing a kiss and smiling at Wesley Manor retirement center in Okolona, Ky., April 4, 2020. Visitors are not allowed inside the senior facility during the coronavirus pandemic, so families talk through a glass window during arranged visits. (CNS photo/Matt Stone) 


By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service


        VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Local churches and individuals must do more to help and to protect the elderly from loneliness and infection during the coronavirus pandemic, a Vatican office said.

        "We must devote new energies to defend them from this storm, just as each of us has been protected and cared for in the small and large storms of our lives," said a message released April 7 by the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, which is led by U.S. Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell.

        While much is already being done by priests, parishes, families and volunteers, "the gravity of the moment calls all of us to do more," it said.

        The World Health Organization's European office said April 2 that more than 95% of those who have died of COVID-19 in Europe were over 60 years of age. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said older adults and people with underlying health problems appear to be almost twice as likely as younger, healthier people to develop serious problems from the virus; however, younger adults are not immune and they, too, can suffer serious problems.

        One area of critical concern, the dicastery said, is the plight of the elderly living in assisted living facilities or nursing homes.

        "We hear terrible news about their conditions every day and thousands of people have already lost their lives," in part, because there are so many at-risk people concentrated in one place and because of problems with procuring personal protective equipment for residents and staff.

        In other circumstances, however, the current crisis is the result of abandonment "from afar" when it comes to not providing enough assistance and therapeutic care for the elderly, the dicastery added.

        "It is necessary to clarify that saving the lives of the elderly who live within residential homes or who are alone or sick, is a priority as much as saving any other person," the message said.

        "If it is true that the coronavirus is more lethal when it encounters a debilitated body, in many cases the previous pathology is loneliness," it said.

        "It is no coincidence that we are witnessing the death, in terrible proportions and ways, of many people who live far from their families, and in truly debilitating and disheartening conditions of solitude," the message said.

        For this reason, it is critical for people to do everything possible to address the problem of abandonment and loneliness, especially when "it could mean saving lives."

        People have found creative ways to help even though directly visiting the elderly has been severely restricted or forbidden, it said. Initiatives have included: calls, videos, voice messaging and even letters addressed to those who are alone; home deliveries of food and medicine; and priests making visits to dispense the sacraments.

        But individuals and local churches can do much more, it said, with their prayers and by curing "the disease of loneliness" as well as creating “solidarity networks and much more.”

        "Faced with the scenario of a generation hit so severely, we have a common responsibility, which stems from the awareness of the invaluable value of every human life and from gratitude to our parents and grandparents, it said.

        "So, let us join in prayer for grandparents and the elderly around the world," the dicastery said. "Let us gather around them with our thoughts and hearts, and when possible, let's act, so that they are not alone."

See more content!

To view more articles and search our website register with

Join The Flock

Flock Note