Respect Life: Elder Abuse Awareness

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

By Fr. Ron Will CPPS

Read all the articles in our Respect Life Series.

In 1995, Pope John Paul II issued Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”), an encyclical on the dignity and sacredness of all human life. Marking the 25th anniversary of that encyclical, Pope Francis recommitted the church “with renewed conviction” to the core message of this teaching, namely: “Respect, defend, love and serve life, every life, every human life! Only on this path will you find justice, development, freedom, peace and happiness!”

With this in mind, this October, Precious Blood Renewal Center is hosting a five-week series discussing various “Respect Life” issues, five areas that beg for our attention and our action. Some areas automatically come to your mind. But you may not have thought about some other areas.

We will host panel discussion on these issues on Saturdays in October 10-11:30 a.m. central time. The discussions will be hybrid events, with some participants in person and others joining us via Zoom.

In our first session, October 2, Nanna Cross and Julie Kuzera, who work with the Jane Adams Senior Caucus in Chicago, will discuss the topic of “Elder Abuse.”

The National Center on Elder Abuse distinguishes between seven different types of elder abuse. These include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial/material exploitation, neglect, abandonment, and self-neglect.

Each year hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited. Many victims are people who are older, frail, and vulnerable and cannot help themselves so they depend on others to meet their most basic needs. Abusers of older adults are both women and men, and may be family members, friends, or “trusted others.”

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You will learn the warning signs for which to look. You will learn what you can do. After their presentation, you will have the opportunity to share your own experiences and to ask questions and enter a discussion with Nanna and Julie. You will be able to determine what are your own first steps that you can take to address this topic in your own circle of influence.


Register for the Oct. 2 and all the events in this series by clicking one of the buttons below. You must register to attend.


Here are some resources you can download:

  1. Red Flags of Abuse
  2. How to Protect Yourself
  3. Twelve Things You Can Do to Prevent Elder Abuse
  4. Missouri Abuse and Neglect Hotline
  5. List of Mandatory Reporters

Topics for the rest of the month are:

Oct 9 — Losing a Child to Homicide
We will meet mothers who have lost children to gun violence or incarceration coming together to talk, support and heal. Guest speaker: Sr. Donna Liette, C.PP.S. and members of the Mothers Circle at Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago.

Oct 16 — Abolishing the Death Penalty
We will meet individuals who are working toward alternatives to the death penalty and will learn why they believe so strongly that all life must be treated with respect. Guest speakers: Jean Swymeler, Connie Swymeler, and Margaret D’Huyvetter from Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Oct 23 — Preventing Gun Violence
Gun violence is a growing concern in our country. We will meet two priests who addressed that situation in their parish ministry. We will learn what they did and why. Guest speakers: Fathers Joseph Uecker, C.PP.S., and Mike Goode C.PP.S.

Oct. 30 — Grieving Miscarriage or Stillborn
We will meet mothers who have lost a child through a miscarriage or a stillbirth. They will tell us about the grieving process and how to find ongoing support. Guest Speakers: Kara Palladino, Colleen Sullivan, and Deacon Gerard-Marie Anthony from A Mom’s Peace, in Virginia.

All sessions run from 10-11:30 a.m. central time. Register to attend in person or join via live stream.

[Fr. Ron Will, a Precious Blood priest and spiritual director, is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union and Creighton University’s School of Christian Spirituality. He has a special interest in helping form intentional disciples of Jesus, encouraging others to go spiritually deep-sea diving to explore a deeper relationship with God, and walking with people as they dive into the ocean of God’s mystery actually experiencing God rather than simply dipping one’s toe into the water.]

Photo 174310851 Elder Abuse © Juan Moyano | Dreamstime.com

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