Each year in June, Catholic Charities looks forward to honoring older adults at our Senior Unity Mass. This year’s 46th annual event, which takes place June 13 at the historic St. Casimir Motherhouse, will include singing from Catholic Charities’ talented staff choir, an information fair on senior services, opportunities to socialize with old and new friends and a delicious hot lunch. Each senior is made to feel extra special on this day. It is a beautiful way for seniors from all over the archdiocese to come together in fun and fellowship to celebrate the joys of elderhood. The careful planning and dedication that make the Senior Unity Mass so special is indicative of the same loving care that goes into all Catholic Charities’ services for older adults. Catholic Charities is profoundly grateful that more than 300,000 seniors are entrusted to our care each year, and we are honored to treat them with the compassion and esteem that reflects their essential human dignity. We offer seniors a multitude of services that act as a complete continuum of care, helping them remain in their own homes, relocate to affordable senior apartments or make the transition to nursing care. One of the ways seniors and their families look to Catholic Charities for assistance is through our Care Coordination program, in which caseworkers visit seniors in their homes and conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify needs. Then, we assist the senior in setting up needed services, many of which are offered by Catholic Charities. For example, Catholic Charities’ Home Care Department helps seniors with daily activities such as cleaning, cooking, bathing, grooming and shopping. We also operate the home delivered meals program, which offers a hot noon-time meal delivered with love by dedicated volunteers. Oftentimes, the daily hot meal and routine visits from a home care aide are all that are needed for a senior to gracefully age in place, remaining safely in their own homes and communities. Catholic Charities also operates three adult day care sites. These are wonderful places for seniors who cannot be alone during the day. We provide transportation to and from the sites as well as breakfast, lunch and a snack. We engage the seniors in a variety of activities throughout the day focusing on health, exercise, socialization and creativity. In addition, Catholic Charities manages numerous congregate dining locations and five senior centers, offering cheerful and welcoming gathering places where seniors can make new friends, enjoy a nutritionally balanced hot lunch and engage in a wide array of activities. For seniors who are looking to downsize or make a move into senior housing, Catholic Charities offers 1,500 affordable apartments in 19 buildings that are specifically designed for the unique needs of older adults. Affordability, accessibility and numerous safety features make these apartments a great option for low-income seniors who want to maintain their independence but desire the camaraderie of living near other older adults. For seniors in need of nursing care, Catholic Charities operates Holy Family Villa, a licensed skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility in Palos Park that offers 24-hour nursing staff; physical, occupational and speech therapy; social services; pastoral care; nutritious meals; and social and recreational activities. Long-term care and short-term rehab are available. Pope Francis has reminded us that our seniors are a treasury of wisdom and a gift of love and beauty for the church and the world. We need only look to some of our favorite Bible stories to see God’s love for elders and their significant contributions to his unfolding purposes. Catholic Charities is blessed to care for so many of our treasured seniors in the Archdiocese of Chicago, and we are committed to meeting their needs with grace and dignity so that we all may celebrate the joys of elderhood together.