Senior groups are abundant in Greece
GREECE — Bonnie Mazzeo, organizer of “Seniors on the Move,” offered a succinct answer when asked what the group’s biggest draw is:
“Camaraderie,” she stated.
Indeed. On Jan. 21, approximately 60 senior citizens flocked to the St. Mark Church gymnasium. Those who stopped at registration tables were greeted by big smiles and kind words from volunteers; soon, chatter and laughter filled the air — fulfilling what Mazzeo said is the group’s chief objective of “meeting old friends and making new ones.”
Friendships are cultivated not only through Seniors on the Move, but also at three other Greece-area parishes offering social opportunities for senior citizens: Holy Cross, St. Lawrence and St. John the Evangelist. Here are details about each group:
Seniors on the Move meets at least once per month year-round, at the church, located at 54 Kuhn Road. According to Mazzeo, meetings usually take place on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. and draw seniors from a variety of parishes and faith backgrounds.
Those who attend typically bring their own lunches, with a luncheon provided on special occasions. Dessert and beverages are staples of each gathering, with members rotating the responsibility of providing dessert. Gatherings often feature guest speakers on such matters of interest to senior citizens as Medicare and being on the lookout for scams. Mazzeo noted that many times after lunch has concluded, participants stay to play bingo.
For details on future meeting dates, contact Mazzeo at 585-366-4074.
“Seniors and Friends” is offered on the third Thursday of each month beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the parish center of the church, located at 4492 Lake Ave. in the Charlotte section of Rochester. According to Mary Jo DiNoto, organizer, the get-togethers are typically a mix of Holy Cross parishioners along with members of several other Monroe County parishes. Each meeting features entertainment or a speaker. Snacks and dessert are provided, with members bringing items to share.
“The first objective is the food,” quipped DiNoto, who serves as pastoral associate at Holy Cross Parish.
In reality, she said, the opportunity for socialization is what matters the most, as evidenced by the many participants who stick around to chat long after a meeting has ended.
For more information about Seniors and Friends, contact DiNoto at 585-663-2244, ext. 104.
A Senior Citizens Social takes place every first Thursday of the month from noon to 2 p.m. at St. Lawrence’s Deacon Hall, 1000 N. Greece Road. Participants are invited to bring their own lunches, with dessert and beverages provided.
According to Ginny Pierce, coordinator, gatherings are open to St. Lawrence parishioners as well as nonparishioners, and new members are welcomed. She said that several who attend enjoy playing cards, dominoes or board games, whereas others simply like to converse.
“I want them to feel like they’re welcome and have a place to go,” Pierce remarked. In addition, she said, the get-togethers give folks an opportunity to share information about issues relevant to seniors.
“We exchange ideas, we exchange experiences. And therefore you learn something new,” Pierce said.
Questions about the group can be directed to Pierce at 585-227-7236.
St. John the Evangelist
“Circle of Hope” is a ministry for widows and widowers and has a largely senior citizen-based membership, according to Rose DiBella, coordinator. It’s open to anybody who has lost a spouse, regardless of parish or religious affiliation.
“When you become widowed,” DiBella said, “you want to go somewhere where you can talk about it with people who know what you’re going through.”
Circle of Hope gatherings take place at St. John’s parish center, 2400 Ridge Road West, usually on the third Friday of the month from 1 to 3 p.m. and often with a presenter. Other activities include picnics, parties and trips, as well as an annual memorial Mass and a day of reflection.
Coming up are a St. Patrick’s Day party on March 18 and evening Stations of the Cross and fish fry on March 20. For scheduling details, contact DiBella at 585-225-0328.