Sr Patty Fawkner SGS delivered a thoughtful and entertaining address at the launch of ‘A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society’, the ACBC Social Justice Statement 2016-17.
When John Ferguson invited me to speak today [6 September 2016] about the “spirituality of ageing”, I told him I wasn’t qualified and suggested others. John persisted and I thought, perhaps I have some ageing qualifications. The average age of the members of my congregation is 75; I’ve lived with many elderly people; my mother is 94; last year the Commonwealth Government told me I am officially aged and I’ve just learned that I fall in the category of the “young-old”.
An African proverb says, “The death of an old person is like the loss of a library”. The Australian Bishops concur that the wisdom and lived experience of older people are priceless treasures. Briefly, I wish to share some stories from the library of elders I know, and the wisdom I find there for our human journey which is, of course, a spiritual journey. Continue reading
As more and more Australians are living longer, we should celebrate the great ‘success story’ of our ageing population and, as a fair and compassionate nation, foster solidarity among all generations, Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council said today.
‘Australia must protect older people who are most vulnerable to hardship and who are at risk of feeling they are a burden on society.’
Bishop Tarabay was speaking at the launch of the Australian Catholic Bishops 2016-2017 Social Justice Statement, entitled ‘A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society’.
The Statement highlights the significant contribution that older people continue to make to the life of the community. The number of Australians aged 65 and over will more than double from 3.6 million today to 8.9 million by the middle of the century. Around 75 per cent of men and 85 per cent of women are reaching retirement in good health and with around 20 years of life ahead of them. Continue reading