Diocese Newsletter - April 21, 2020

From the Bishop's Office
The novena to St. Ann held at the Ste-Anne-du-Bocage Shrine will take place using a different format this year. We will respect the government preventative measures in place in July.

News of our priests
Saturday, April 25, 2020 will be Msgr Jodoin’s seventh Episcopal Anniversary. Let us keep him in our prayers during these trying times for our Church.

News of our religious orders
No news
News to share
You are invited to the Sunday Mass celebrated at 10am from the Caraquet church thanks to the radio and the internet. Let’s celebrate in numbers!
Here is a nice article entitled “Long live the elderly!” (Vive les vieux!) from the newspaper “La Presse”, written by Mr. Stéphane Laporte. (Translated from French)
Here is the link to the original article: https://www.lapresse.ca/covid-19/202004/18/01-5269911-vive-les-vieux.php

Long live the elderly!

We have it all wrong. The elderly are not behind us; they are ahead of us. Seniors are not our past. They are our future. They are already where we are heading. They are ahead of us. They walked before us. Spoke before us. Danced, sung, loved, stole, and won before us. They were betrayed, dropped, and lost before us too.
They are not last, they are first. They are our Neil Armstrongs. Our discoverers. Our pioneers. What we know, they have taught us; to read, to count, to care, to give. And also to ignore, to hurt and to take. Depending on who they were on our path, we can own them all or blame them for everything. They are good or bad, like us. On the other hand, we are bad or good, like them.
What they are today is what we will be tomorrow. Creams, cosmetic surgery and Instagram filters won't change that. We are not getting younger. We are aging. All of us. Young people too. In the time it takes to blink, they are already less young. We are aging. Every second of our lives. Because to grow old is to live. And to die is not to age anymore.

So please tell me why, we who are so full of promises for the future, are so little concerned about the plight of seniors? What we do to them is what will be done to us. What we do not do to them is what will not be done to us. If we do not treat them out of altruism, at least let us treat them out of selfishness.
You can even do it for your children. Because I wish for you, that one day your children will be old. Why have so many sacrifices so that they may have a good life, if their end is sad and unhappy? Every old person is someone’s child.
Society has left the elderly behind. Not just since the virus; since for ever. Because we do not want to see ourselves in them. Society lives well in denial. Society believes to be 18 and pretends to have fun all the time.
The most disturbing thing in this story is when we read the death toll, and it reassures us to see that the victims are mostly people aged 70 and over. As if to say, it was less serious. Shame on us. A life is a life. A human being is not a car. A human being does not lose value over time.

I know that the death of a child is heartbreaking. The death of an old child should be heartbreaking too. We will count the number of broken pieces after. We always leave too soon, when we could have left later.
We console ourselves too quickly after the death of an elderly person. That explains why their existence is not our priority. That explains their fates as neglected people.
It is not simply by saying "it's going to be fine" that it actually will be. It is by moving forward. We have to change our relationship with old age. We have to be allowed to age with dignity. We have to stop pushing away older people. Everyone is part of the gang. From zero to 200 years old.

Age is not a defeat. Age is a feat to be proud of. I am 40 years old; I have been here for 40 years! I am 50 years old; I have been resistant for 50 years! I am 60 years old; I have been going through it for 60 years. I am 70 years old; I have loved this world for 70 years!
Time goes fast like that. Yesterday, you were watching Pierre Elliott Trudeau say "no more madness" in your town. A in a snap, you are watching his son tell you not to leave your home.
Life is too short. Every second counts. Both those of the beginning and those of the conclusion. There are interrupted beginnings and endless conclusions, but no matter where you are in the book, it is the current page that matters most. In addition, the present belongs to the living. To all living, from all origins, from all genders and from all ages.
It took too many horrors to awaken consciousness to racism, let us hope that this current horror will awaken our consciousness to ageism.
We are always wrong when we categorize people. We were all born in the same place, on earth. And we are all from the same era. All contemporaries. The rest is just billions of differences. Seniors are not all the same. No more than young people. That is why we cannot say, "The elderly are like this, or the elders are like that".
The seniors' categorical block does not exist. What exists is your father, your mother, your friend’s grandfather, the neighbor’s grandmother. In short, human beings.
You then wonder why my title "Long live the elderly!" Because it brings everyone together. We are all old. When I was 5 years old, my brother was 12, and I found him so old. We are all old people, whether we are one day old or twelve thousand days old.
Let us own up. Especially since age does not measure anything, what identifies who we are is safe from it. Age does not define us, but in French, it is a word that resembles it. In French if you change the g to an m you get the word “ame” or soul. Our little voice. That which makes us laugh, cry, think or shudder, Invisible and omnipresent. Ageless. (Please note that the translation of this paragraph has been slightly modified to retain the meaning of the original text)
This is the reason we are always astonished when we enter our date of birth on a form. We say to ourselves, “I am not already here!” Our soul still feels like it has just arrived. It remains timeless until the day it has to be returned.
If we want to keep our soul as long as possible, we have to worry about those who allowed us to have one at all.
As long as we are playing Scrabble, in French, let us replace the “v” in “vieux” or old with a “d” to make “dieux” or gods, and there, we will not be far from the truth. They are the ones who created us. (Please note that the translation of this paragraph has been slightly modified to retain the meaning of the original text)

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