Living the Journey: Spirituality for the Second Half of Life
Hosted by the Boston College Alumni Association, the Church in the 21st Century Center, the School of Theology and Ministry, the University Institute on Aging, and the Sloan Center on Aging & Work. Co-sponsored by the Connell School of Nursing and the Graduate School of Social Work and generously supported by Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Thank you to all of the participants that joined us for the day-long Living the Journey: Spirituality for the Second Half of Life conference on Saturday, April 10. Keynote addresses are available for viewing now, and two more presentations will be available in the future.
We are also happy to include printed resources here for you as well. Please check back regularly as we gather and post additional resources and upcoming events related to the theme of the conference.
Aging in America: Living, Learning and Legacy
Jennie Chin Hansen, '70, H'08, RN, MS, FAAN
Jennie Chin Hansen, Boston College Class of 1970 and the first boomer president of AARP, explores the varied landscape of aging in America in the conference's opening keynote address. People are living longer, healthier lives and have nearly limitless opportunities to explore new dimensions as they enter midlife and beyond. Hansen shares stories of people "in the second half of life" who have been inspired to do great things and to live their lives to the fullest, while balancing work, play, learning, and spirituality.
Spirituality and God: Midlife and Beyond
John J. Shea, OSA, MA, MPS, MSW, PhD
In his keynote address, John Shea offers reflections on who we are as adults as we travel through the stages of aging, as well as the human experiences associated with midlife and growing older. He raises some of the challenges we face and the rewards that are possible in finding spiritual meaning and a "living God" who calls us forward into the second half of life. Read John Shea's PowerPoint slides here.
Reflections on the Journey
Rev. Michael Himes, MDiv, PhD
In his closing talk, Fr. Himes offers an opportunity to begin to synthesize all the topics discussed during the conference and to move forward in the journey of aging in a positive way.
Vices and Virtues of Old Age Retirement
Edward Collins Vacek, SJ
Jesuit Edward Vacek addresses the challenges of retirement beyond the idea of "extended vacation." In addressing retirement he embraces the idea of a fulfilling and active retirement, embracing old age as more than a sedentary lifestyle. The speech addresses the new challenges retirees face as life expectancy and the number of people in old age increases, and how retirement can be an active experience.
Changes, Challenges and Opportunities in Midlife and Beyond
Michael St. Clair '64, MA'65, PhD
This presentation will outline some of the current changes we all face in modern American culture. When we add the normal life changes that come with midlife and old age, the pace and extent of change can cause apprehension and anxiety. Knowing what some of the changes are can enable us to develop techniques for dealing not only with external change, but also with physical and mental change.
Embracing Loss, Healing Grief with Grace and Hope
Pamela Prime, '63, MA
It appears that the more we are blessed with life, the more opportunities we have to grieve. When we grieve freely with courage and hope, grief has the capacity to open our hearts to deeper experiences of love and ultimately to the discovery of God's immanent presence. This session will have an experiential component as well as a lecture.