Let us pray Saint Brother André
In this exceptional time of pandemic out of respect for Family Caregivers and so as not to risk weakening the vulnerable people they care for, there will be no testimonies at the Family Caregivers Day celebrations that will take place this Sunday, August 16 at Saint Joseph’s Oratory on the occasion of the month of Saint Brother André.
During the confinement, we have all witnessed the trials that these generous people have been called to live while caring for a sick loved one. This in itself was an eloquent testimony to the difficulties they encounter in supporting a vulnerable loved one whether it be a parent, spouse, child or friend. We have all become aware of the serious gaps in the means of support for the sick and consequently for the Caregivers, which have come to light all over the world.
We have seen the Family Caregivers helpless in the face of necessary physical distancing that prevented them from lovingly giving daily care. We saw the anxiety on their foreheads and in their tears. We were all moved as we watched them pass on signs of affection, hoping that their humanism would prevent accelerated dementia, through the windows and closed doors of seniors’ residences. For others, we understood the exhaustion of spouses and parents confined with a child or adult with an intellectual disability or severe physical or mental illness. Finally, too often we have sympathized with their grief and bereavement at a death caused by the sudden and inhumane nature of COVID-19.
Saint Brother André has been the Patron Saint of Family Caregivers since September 30, 2016. He has known generations of Caregivers who have accompanied their patients as they came before him to be healed.
On this day dedicated to them at the Oratory, let us pray to Saint Brother André so that these people of good will may obtain the divine strength to fulfill their great social role with their sick people of all ages, whatever the illness that afflicts them, and so that they may be recognized by receiving concrete services.
*Capitalization of the terms “Natural Caregivers” is by the author.