Senior Ministry

Senior Ministry

As people age, they can become less engaged in the community because of lack of opportunity, physical infirmities and/or the caregiving needs of spouses. Given Francis’ commitment to community building, many Holy Name Province ministries demonstrate their support to those in the later stages of life through senior programs and outreach. Learn more about these efforts below.

To add to the list, contact Fran Eskin-Royer in Holy Name Province’s Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.


St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Raleigh, N.C.
The Alzheimer’s/Dementia Ministry at St. Francis reaches out both to those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other related dementia and to their caregivers. Its goal is to provide information to parishioners and support to caregivers of those whose memories have been robbed by dementia. Twice-monthly support groups are available for caregivers. The group meets the first Wednesday of every month from 1 to 3 p.m. in The Padua Room in the Community Center and the third Wednesday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. in Room 403 in Anthony Hall. Visit the parish website for further information.
Contact: Carol Gault or (919) 847-8205, ext. 269


St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Long Beach Township, N.J.
The enactment of the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2000 (Public Law 106-501) established an important new program, the National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP). The program was developed by the Administration on Aging of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS). Available services include:
• Information to Caregivers about available services
• Assistance to caregivers in gaining access to supportive services
• Individual counseling, organization of support groups to assist the caregivers in making decisions and solving problems relating to their role as a caregiver.
Contact: Linda Falb


St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Raleigh, N.C.
The Caregivers Ministry at St. Francis of Assisi provides non-medical assistance to the physically challenged and elderly members of the parish community to help them maintain their independence, decrease their isolation, and increase their quality of life. The parish does this through trained volunteers who provide transportation for medical appointments, errands, and grocery shopping. The Caregivers Ministry also offers friendly home visits to socially isolated members of the parish, as well as short term respite care for dependent adults, so their primary caregivers are able to leave the home for appointments or just to “take a break.”
Contact: Carol Derrenbacher or (919)-554-2578


St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Long Beach Township, N.J.
St. Francis is an active member of Interfaith Health and Support Services.  This local organization provides support to seniors and their caregivers, including transportation to doctors, calls or visits, relief to primary caregivers, shopping, and other services to the elderly.  Parish nurses also offer personal health counseling and education to the community.


St. Camillus Parish
Silver Spring, Md.
This ministry program was formed to serve the many seniors present in the Saint Camillus parish.

Meetings occur on the last Wednesday of the month, highlighted by ‘The Whine, Wine & Unwind Gathering’ which includes open discussion on current events, health subjects, problems, concerns or resolutions that relate to older citizens or whatever participants wish to talk about.

Programs for seniors include:

• Seniors Helping Seniors
• Computer Instruction (one-on-one)
• Visitation to the Sick & Home-bound
• Home Communion
• Transportation
• Movies & Refreshments
• Health Directive Preparation Assistance
• Victory Oaks at Saint Camillus Senior Home
• Independent-living (48 apartments)

Future planned-for activities planned include:
• Wellness Home Visits
• Pro-Bono Legal Assistance
• Senior News Publication
• Low-impact Exercise Class for Seniors
• Affordable Housing for Seniors
• Aging in Place
• Home-In-Stead
• Checkbook Balancing and Bill Writing Assistance.
• Day Trips, Movies, Plays, and Other Events

Contact: Call the Friary at 301-434-8400 and ask for Ron Dickenson.


Immaculate Conception Parish
Durham, N.C.
Senior PharmAssist promotes healthier living for Durham seniors by helping them obtain and better manage needed medications and by providing health education, community referral, and advocacy.
Contact: Ann Carole Moylan at 919-403-5759, or Maryann Crea


St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Long Beach Township, N.J.
Services at the parish’s St. Francis Center include outreach and benefits counseling, assistance in understanding the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Program, social/recreational activities, and fitness classes.  In addition, at the site in Manshawkin,  outreach is offered to participants in the Congregate Nutrition Site, as well as monthly educational, health and social activities and programs, such as a garden club, health screenings and other special events. Access to a volunteer attorney for those who are eligible is also offered.

St. Francis Center Senior Services provides “Meals on Wheels’ assessments for those in need.  A group of parish volunteers delivers meals come rain or shine to roughly 85 people who are home bound and live alone.  They are often the only contact the clients have with others; the contact is often valued as much as the food they receive.  The drivers also provide a very important service, notifying the community’s Senior Services Department when a client does not answer the door so one of the outreach workers can check to be sure that the client is well.                            Contact: Linda Falb


St. Anthony Shrine & Ministry Center
Boston, Mass.
On Tuesdays, a group of seniors gathers for Morning Prayer, watches a spiritually themed video, and makes crafts. Participants create items for the ministry’s street fairs and other times of the year in support of the ministry of the Shrine.
Those participating might work on craft projects that they are familiar with, or they might learn a new skill. Video watching sometimes leads to lively discussion. All who take part find it a great way to socialize with old and new friends!
Contact: Br. Daniel Murray, OFM or 617-542-6440, x 250


St. Anthony Shrine & Ministry Center
Boston, Mass.
The “Seniors at Arch Street” gather on Wednesdays for a 10:00 AM Mass, followed by coffee, various presentations, good conversation, and a hearty lunch. The program was launched in gratitude to the seniors who have supported Saint Anthony Shrine from its founding, and still faithfully come to pray and worship there. The aim is to provide a time and place where seniors have the opportunity to share stories of past and present, receive information on topics that relate to their stage of life, and enjoy a nourishing meal together. The seniors look forward to this weekly gathering and many friendships have been forged around this community event.

The “Seniors at Arch Street” enjoy presentations at their weekly gatherings that include the following:
• Healthcare, including exercise
• Spirituality
• Art
• Preparing for the Inevitable
• and Special Events, such as:

  • Retreats
  • Bus Trips

Contact: Br. Rick James, OFM or 617-542-6440, x 122


St. Bonaventure Parish
Paterson, N.J.
A monthly program planned as a time of Spiritual Enrichment for senior members of the parish. Monthly presentations are a time for personal and group enrichment which may lead members to other enriching activities. Meetings are held on the second Monday afternoon of each month from 1 to 3 o’clock in the Friary Conference Room.


Stephen Ministers are trained lay Christians who listen, encourage, keep confidences, pray, and support. They complete over 50 hours of preparation that equip them to enter into confidential one-on-one relationships where they listen, pray, extend acceptance, and provide distinctively Christian care.  Stephen Ministry was founded in 1975 and is active in almost 11,000 faith communities in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and 23 countries. Stephen Ministers help those experiencing the loss of a loved one, loneliness, retirement changes or unemployment, discouragement, childbirth, pregnancy/adoption, hospitalization, separation/divorce, terminal illness, being homebound, relocation/moving transitions, deployment, financial setbacks, aging, family struggles, changes in their lives, and other concerns.

For more information, visit the Stephen Ministries International website.

HNP ministries playing a part in this worldwide caregiving network include:

St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Raleigh, N.C.
Contact: Kathleen Owen

St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Triangle, Va.
Contact: Kathy Walker

St. Mary’s Parish
Pompton Lakes, N.J.
Contact: Beverly Delleart or 973-835-0374. ext. 113


St. Francis Parish
Triangle, Va.
The Un-Trim-A-Tree Holiday Gift Program is a very special program that serves children and seniors in need.  St. Francis of Assisi Parish has supported this program for more than 14 years, each year providing gifts to more than 500 children who receive a free or reduced cost lunch in the Dumfries and Triangle elementary schools.  The parish also provides at least 100 senior baskets to the Envoy Nursing Home in Woodbridge, Va.
Contact:  Francia Salguero