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Elder Religious and Diocesan Priests Workshop

37th Annual Elder Religious & Diocesan Priests Workshop 2014

June 20- June 26, 2014

"Click here for the ERDP Workshop 2014 Brochure (pdf)".


The 37th Annual Elder Religious and Diocesan Priests 2014 Workshop is already gearing up for next year. The workshop provides information that specializes in practical applications and solutions and a strong support-networking system across the spiritual, psychological, medical, pastoral, and practical aspects of caring and administering to the elders in our religious congregations and dioceses.

View Presentation Descriptions below:


Friday, June 20, 2014

Opening Session – Networking Session

Mary Hopkins, OP, MS and Wayne Fitzpatrick, MM, MA, MS       

Saturday, June 21, 2014 all day

Mary Flood, OP, MD, PhD

Medical Issues Impacting on Life's Journey

This workshop will focus on common medical conditions affecting aging populations and address day-to-day management of chronic illnesses, using medication correctly, implementing and sustaining lifestyle modifications and compliance.  The workshop will also look at medical conditions masquerading as dementia and recommended interventions in signs of early dementia to maintain functional independence.   The second part of the workshop will discuss responsibilities of a healthcare proxy, when to initiate advance directives (DNI/DNR), communicating with healthcare providers and providing support and guidance for the caretaker.   The presentations will center on case studies and audience discussion is welcomed

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Mary Hopkins, OP, MS and Wayne Fitzpatrick, MM, MA, MS

Exploring Issues of Concern

This session will facilitate a discussion among participants reflecting health, spiritual and pastoral concerns of our Elder Brothers and Sisters. The learning experience will demonstrate the wisdom, professional and pastoral insights that dwell within all the participants. The facilitated process will truly reflect a conversation on the important and relevant issues confronting Elder Diocesan Priests and Religious Women and Men.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

9:00 – 11:30 am

Rachel Loefflad, BA, C-GCM

Joyful Noises: How to Facilitate an Inspiring Music Making Experience for Your Residents Even if You Can't Carry a Tune

Rachel will provide a VERY HANDS AND VOICE ON program geared toward teaching how to facilitate a vibrant music program. Evidence-Based Practice and Research Evidence regarding the benefits of music making; there are four areas of Holistic Quality of Life (Intellectual, Emotional, Spiritual, and Physical) and how music making can address these areas. How music creates a sense of community and why making music is another healthy lifestyle choice. The role music plays in the lives of everyone. How to encourage participants to be instrumental in the design of the program (i.e. musical genres, song lists and sequencing) the science of music and how it is used in our everyday lives.

2:30 – 5:00 pm

Michael Kantar, MS, RD, CDN, LDN

Dietary Supplements: Necessary or Just Another Drain on Your Wallet

The presenter will talk about the business of supplements, understanding the role, benefits, and contraindications of supplementation in an aging population and alternative methods to supplementing a diet with wholesome and natural foods. 

6:30 – 8:30 pm  

Jim Siberski, MS, CMC

I HAVE WHAT" After the diagnosis of a Neurocognitive Disorder then what should I or we do?

 We will review the Neurocognitive Disorders and Treatments; resources: Who can help and where can I get help? Is all lost or can I do something constructive. The presentation will review cognitive rehabilitation and End stage Neurocognitive Disorders what path can we follow?

Monday, June 23, 2014

9:00 – 11:30 am

Dr. Dennis Klima, PT, MS, PhD

Balance and Fall Prevention in Older Adults:  “The Seven Deadly Sins”

This workshop will focus on an evidence-based approach to fall prevention among older adults in religious communities.  Balance and gait changes associated with aging will be presented, along with those major intrinsic and extrinsic causes of falls. Specific issues related to elders in religious communities will offer insight into building effective fall prevention programs. Recent analyses of fall prevalence will underscore the need to address target interventions.

2:30 -5:00 pm

Dr. Dennis Klima, PT, MS, PhD

Effective Restorative Care and “Wheelchair 101” for Caregivers  

This session will focus on key elements of effective restorative care programs. Emphasis will be placed on safe body mechanics, utilization of equipment, and wheelchair mobility strategies.    Participants will review principles of assisting older adults during gait, transfer, and wheelchair activities. Key “red flag” areas of management will target those mobility observations which require immediate attention.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

9:00 – 11:30 am

Sr. Janice Bader, CPPS, MA and Br. Robert Metzger, SM,  BBA

Trends in Aging in Religious Institutes

This session will review some of the national statistics of religious institutes in regard to aging and care of elder members.  From their experience in working with religious institutes, the presenters will share information regarding the common concerns and challenges that are facing institutes as the median age of religious continues to rise.  In addition, they will share an update on the services and educational opportunities that are available through the National Religious Retirement Office

2:30 -5:00 pm

Thomas M. Muldowney, VG, MSdiv


One of the most daunting tasks for those who are in leadership positions is dealing with members who find themselves in self- destructive behavior.  Most times these individuals are unaware of  their problematic behavior and its consequences.  This session is designed to assist those in leadership positions to successfully intervene and promote a positive change in someone’s life.   

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

9:00 – 11:30 am

Jack Rathschmidt, OFM, Cap, MTh, PhD

Mining the Challenges of Aging                        

Ministering with compassion and grace to our elder sisters and brothers is both a grace and a burden. How we celebrate those who age with grace and acceptance, and accompany those who fight every attempt to help them, is the great challenge of elder care ministry. Through prayer, ritual, reflection and silence, this workshop will invite participants to discern and develop strategies and spiritual practices that help those we serve while not neglecting ourselves.

2:30 -5:00 pm

Kate Braet, CSJ, MS and Linda Cusano, MA

Called to be a Compassionate Presence with our Elder Religious and Priests

Through Person Directed Care and Compassionate Presence one comes to be in a relationship with another.  As we grow in relationship we come to know one’s life story.  It is the sharing of these inner most hopes, dreams, and experiences that guides our relationship together.  Through this knowledge and understanding of one’s life story insightful activities can be developed which will stimulate and enrich the lives of our elder Religious and Priests.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Breakfast and Departure     





What past participants say

Designed for
• sisters • ministers
• brothers • deacons
• priests • laity

In positions of
• leadership • administrators
• nurses • nurse practitioners
• retirement planners • geriatric personnel
• social workers • recreation therapists
• counselors • outreach workers
• dietitians • chaplains
• pastoral staff • membership personnel

• Mini sabbatical for priests, brothers, and sisters
• Faculty specifically chosen for their expertise and ability to relate to this
focused group
• Integrates the spiritual, psychological, medical, pastoral, and practical
issues concerning the aged
• Opens channels linking you into a strong support and networking
system; you continue to benefit long after the workshop has ended


Wayne Fitzpatrick, MM, MA, MS
Wayne earned a master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University and a master’s degree in Theology from Maryknoll School of Theology. He is a certified Retirement Planning Specialist. He has extensive experience working as a geriatric and pastoral consultant with religious communities and is a co-planner of the Elder Religious and Diocesan Priests workshops. Wayne is a member of the Governing Council for the Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging with the American Society on Aging. He is a member of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers and resides at the Maryknoll Center in New York.

Mary Hopkins, OP, MS
Mary holds a master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling/Spirituality from Loyola University. A Certified Retirement Planning Specialist and Grief Counselor, Mary has extensive experience working as a geriatric and pastoral consultant with religious congregations and dioceses as well as preaching retreats. She is a co-planner of the Elder Religious and Diocesan Priests workshops. Mary is a member of the Governing Council for the Forum on Religion, Spirituality and Aging with the American Society on Aging. Past experience includes 10 years as Director of Third Age Retirement Office of the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters. She resides at the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters Motherhouse in Wisconsin.

James Siberski, MS, CMC
Jim holds a graduate degree in Human Resource Development, and is an affiliate member of American Geriatric Psychiatrist Association. Certified in Remotivation Therapy, Activities Therapy, and Gerontology. Jim is the coordinator and assistant professor of Gerontology Education in the Center for Professional Development at Misericordia University. He has experience in activities planning and delivery in geriatric populations, religious communities, and long-term care facilities. Jim lectures on suicide prevention, mood disorders, and personality disorders in the elderly, and is a frequent presenter at professional conferences. He is an author in many journals, including the journal of Psychological Nursing, Directors Guide, and Remotivator. Jim is also a member of the Board of Direc