Carers Australia defines carers as people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issues or who are frail aged. This includes the 272,000 young people up to the age of 25 who are carers.
(Carers Australia: https://www.carersaustralia.com.au/)
Parish communities can play a pivotal role in providing support, both spiritually and practically, to carers in their parish communities. We are called to not only celebrate and acknowledge carers but to look for ways to listen to, build relationships with and form networks of support for carers.
Pope Francis instructs us: “It means opening the doors and letting Jesus go forth. Many times we keep Jesus closed inside the parishes with us, and we do not go out and we do not let Him leave!” We are encouraged to open the doors of our parishes and open our hearts to carers.