“There’s no vacation from the vocation,” said Jesuit Father Edward Ifkovits, the rector’s assistant for health care. “Our men start out in a very active ministry and gradually move to a time in their lives where they become a little more contemplative. Many people in ministry complain that they don’t have enough time to spend in prayer, and now they do.”
Prayer contributions are invaluable, noted Benedictine Sister Marietta Schindler of Queen of Angels Monastery in Mt. Angel, Oregon. Eight or nine of the community’s 38 women are in the infirmary.
“There’s more time for prayer as they age, and some sisters can’t do a whole lot except pray,” she said. “They are there morning, noon and night as part of the community, praying for the needs of the world. For the younger ones of us, it’s a real symbol of the dedication to our vows. Just because they are 90-plus doesn’t mean that they’re retired. It’s a new way of life, and we just slow down a little.”
Many in their 80s and 90s are also writing, researching, volunteering and actively living their vocations in other ways.
“In my experience, religious men and women always seem to want to have something to give,” Father Ifkovits said.
Here are some of their stories from the retired religious…. Read more…