Linwood, New Jersey                                    Spring 2001                                                       Page 1


   As our 'senior' population grows larger every day due to changing lifestyles and greater longevity, the need to minister to the special needs of the elderly has become a challenge for the Church today.  With the shortage of priests working in overcrowded parishes, schedules don't permit much time for attention to the growing numbers of seniors living in assisted living or nursing home environments.

   For over 25 years, the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts, as part of their pastoral ministries, have served in chaplaincies which strive to meet the needs of this group of faithful.  In Diocesan and privately run facilities, they have faithfully witnessed God's love to this segment of God's earthly family. a blessing to a resident.

Fr. Clement shares a smile with on of the residents.

   By celebrating daily Mass, administering the Sacraments, sharing a moment or two of time, they become representatives of the church family each resident has left behind.  In many cases, they are the only connection to the world outside, other than staff, that many residents experience.  

Fr. Frederick Clement, M.SS.CC. is the current chaplain at Our Lady's Residence, a Diocesan facility run by the Hospitaller Sisters of Mercy in Pleasantville, NJ.  Following him through the halls on his daily routine recently, the value of just his presence was clearly apparent. As he approaches a resident, their faces most often lighten and a smile readily appears…an outstretched hand is offered, eager for his warm clasp.  Even with just a few moments of interaction, each has shared a special moment.   In the activity room, he takes a few minutes to speak to the visiting wives of two residents.  It is apparent that they welcome his encouragement, support and assurance of his prayers. 

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