No one is exempt from ageing yet there is a lack of resources to help us grow and develop a spirituality of ageing along the way.
Dawn to Dusk is Noel Mansfield MSC's honest and humble attempt to reflect on his own experience of ageing and how the ageing process has affected and shaped the development of his own spirituality as a senior priest and Missionary of the Sacred Heart.
The result is not a memoir, strictly, but, once launched on the journey, he needed to check on what others had said and written about the reality and processes of growing old; and to trace events in his own life that have brought him to this place of acceptance and peace towards the last years of fruitful, apostolic life. So we learn of his childhood experiences, memories of parents and family, life in formation and health issues that were significant in the process of his growing up spiritually. We learn of his various ministries in Australia and overseas in teaching, leadership, spiritual formation, and parish work.
He willingly acknowledges the influence of Pope Francis on the development of his insights into the spirituality of ageing, noting the Pope’s various addresses to older people, reflecting on the deep and essential contribution of older people especially in today’s ‘throw away’ society. Francis comments: ‘Christian spirituality has been taken a bit by surprise, and it involves sketching out a spirituality of older persons’.
This is a book for everyone because all of us will experience ageing. Our responses to the inevitable symptoms of ageing - especially as Christian, spiritual people - will require a rethinking of our attitudes to prayer, liturgy, relationships and community, including Church.
Growing old is part of our life journey. Dawn to Dusk will be an invaluable, practical and realistic resource on the way.
Noel Mansfield MSC is a Catholic priest and a Missionary of the Sacred Heart (MSC) whose ministry has been mostly in Secondary Education in colleges in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
He completed post-graduate education at Fordham University in New York and trained to be a Spiritual Director at Heart of Life Centre in Melbourne. He now lives in Sacred Heart Parish, Hindmarsh-Findon, Adelaide.
Copies are now available for purchase from the Parish Office (8346 3901) or Fr Noel. Cost $19.95.