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Care for the Elderly and Infirm in an Orthodox Setting

Bp Thomas Joseph and Peter Schweitzer 

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. (Psalm 71:9)

Proper and loving care for the elderly should be a Christian concern for each of us.  Whether we have aged or infirm parents or loved ones, we all know elderly people who need our attention.  As Orthodox Christians, we have a duty to them before God.  We have a duty to look after their physical and most importantly, their spiritual needs.

While elected officials grapple with the financial and moral questions concerning healthcare, the elderly population continues to grow. In 2010, one-sixth of the adult U.S. population was older than 65; by 2030, about one-fourth will be.  This presents a pastoral challenge for the Orthodox clergy and laity.  All too often our elderly, infirm, and dying are isolated, in some cases abandoned.  They may be found in nursing homes where no one visits them and they are unable to attend church services.  In many instances, priests are not aware of their circumstances and they are left without confession and the other salvific Mysteries of the Church.  When they repose, they may even be cremated as opposed to given a proper Orthodox burial.  This may be the result of a family’s ignorance of Church teaching or a desire to reduce the costs of a funeral.  (An Orthodox funeral does not have to be an expensive affair.  There are Orthodox resources available that substantially defray costs while at the same time remaining faithful to our spiritual traditions.)

Syrian Relief Program: Introducing DERD

DERD is the only official non-profit organization of the Antiochian Patriarchate.

THE SYRIAN PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING…...homes, schools, and hospitals have been demolished - loved ones have been injured - lives have been lost – families have been torn apart - the innocent have been held captive - holy places have been desecrated and destroyed….   

Diocese of Charleston Bible Study + March 15, 2017

Gen 7:6-9 
Isaiah 10:12-20
Proverbs 9:12-18

Genesis 7:6-9 (NKJV)
Noah was six hundred years old when the flood waters were on the earth.  So Noah, with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, went into the ark because of the waters of the flood.  Of clean animals, of animals that are unclean, of birds, and of everything that creeps on the earth, two by two they went into the ark to Noah, male and female, as God had commanded Noah.

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