Caring for Elderly Parents

What are our responsibilities when it comes to caring for our parents? As we get older, so do our parents. In this episode, Fr. Josh explains the duty we have to our parents but also how our relationships with our parents change as we get older. He also shares stories of two people that can be examples to us when it comes to caring for parents and the elderly.

Snippet from the Show
To be Christian means to imitate Christ in all that we do.


Glory Story (1:24)

Listener Question (3:20)

My parents are getting older. How can I love them well as they are aging and as they change. What are we responsible for doing?

Saint Story: St. Jeanne Jugan (10:16)

Jeanne Jugan was born in 1792 in France. Her childhood took place during the French Revolution. When she was only four years old, her father died at sea and from then on she and her three siblings were raised by her mother alone. Even though Catholicism was suppressed at this time, Jeanne’s mother still instructed her children in the Catholic faith.

Jeanne worked as a shepherdess, a servant, and eventually as a nurse. As a young woman, she received two marriage proposals but declined them. She already felt that God was calling her to something different.

Jeanne became a member of the Third Order of St. John Eudes when she was twenty-five years old. She was working as a nurse at this time, but eventually had to leave the occupation due to her own health problems. Following this, she worked for a member of the order for twelve years.

In 1839, the town she lived in was hit with hardship. Jeanne was sharing an apartment with two other women. Around this time, she encountered an older woman who was blind and dealt with partial paralysis. Jeanne took her in and cared for her. Shortly after this, Jeanne took in two more women, then rented an extra room to house more elderly. Eventually, she found an old convent to house forty elderly people.

As she continued doing this work, more women began to join in her efforts. They begged for the money they needed in order to house and provide care for the elderly. In just ten years, over a hundred women had joined the congregation founded by Jeanne which had become known as the Little Sisters of the Poor.

As the congregation grew, a priest was appointed as the superior general. He wanted to hide the fact that she was the foundress of the congregation so he forced her to retire. Jeanne died at the age of 86. The order now consisted of 2,400 members. It wasn’t until after her death that the superior general was questioned and Jeanne was eventually recognized as the foundress.


Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.

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