Fr Harry Pownall of Liverpool, wrote these words thirty five years ago in 1979, in the opening paragraphs of the original English version of The Life Ascending handbook.
These words are as true today as they were then. We must thank God for a movement such as ours, that offers true friendship and happiness to many who would otherwise just sit by their window and watch the traffic go by.
There is nothing better than greeting those who are feeling low and seeing their face light up, just because we are there. There must be many, many such stories in our groups of the happiness shared by members, seeing someone’s life turned round and uplifted by the mutual love, concern and prayers of the group.
I was interested to read about MONALISA, which is a French initiative launched in January 2014.
It has been set up to break the social isolation of many people, particularly the elderly. Ideally there will be a local presence in every neighbourhood or village, provided by teams of volunteers who will support those who feel isolated and lonely, with weekly visits. Also to involve those they visit in bigger gatherings and different activities.
The City of Metz was chosen for the launch because it has already demonstrated a willingness to combat isolation among senior people.
When the charter was drawn up, The President of MCR (Mouvement Chretien des Retraites or The Life Ascending/Life Asending) Monique Boduin was asked to add her name.
Now we have ‘The Campaign to End Loneliness’. This is a coalition of organisations and local Government associations set up to tackle isolation and loneliness in this country.http://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org
It is an issue we are well aware of . It is a little nudge to those of us who are able, to remember to call or phone those who are so alone and make that little difference to their lives.