Why single, unmarried, childless adults are important to family life


Growing up I knew of many single men and women who were major role models to my family and myself as they were so selfless and kind.Some had stayed on to care for their parents out of love and caring,some teaching religious instruction,taking care of the church cleaning.
Being single was quite common in some rural areas ,perhaps the pool of potential spouses was smaller back in those days .But they were all lovely and generous people that I knew of :slight_smile:


That seems an odd comment. This would be a given for anyone married or single.
Of course as Catholics we value and praise single life when it is chosen out of devotion to God (or embraced due to circumstances).


Oh, really? Do you live on your own, and if so, do you own or rent?


THANK YOU! I’m tempted to open up a dozen accounts here on CAF just to give this post extra likes.

I happen to be one of those people in their 50s who is single. I lost my entire immediate family young (before high school), and who knows how long my extended family will hold out, between the older members passing away and the younger ones either starting their own families or engaging in immoral lifestyles that I cannot support (which may cause further estrangement).

Additionally, there are other concerns in addition to what you have mentioned: what if something happens at home if you injure yourself or get gravely ill? Who will inform your employer if you have a heart attack at home or get a stroke? Who will call the ambulance if you can’t? What if you die alone at home - it could be years before anyone notices (don’t laugh, it happened in Chicago 20 years ago to 2 next door neighbors!).

The people you refer to with the “pie-in-the-sky” romantic notions should remember the phrase about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.


With the shortage of priests and the parish closings and consolidations, does the Church have the resources to do this?

I’m reminded of the part of the NT - I think it was in one of the Timothy’s - where St. Paul said not to enroll women under a certain age to the “order of widows” for two reasons but instead that they should seek marriage. One was the sexual temptation part, the other had to do with allowing the Church to help older widows that are most in need, implying that families were the first line of defense and charity.


It’s not run by the priests! It’s an entirely separate lay apostolate.


I think Cruciferi was being sarcastic with his comment, as he added the eye rolling emoji at the end.


I am sure there are a whole lot of people in this boat also who do have family members, but the family couldn’t care less about them or the family is dealing with crises of their own. The person who has family members who are estranged from them, or who are in prison, ill, battling an addiction, living a long distance away and busy with their own family, all are in the same boat. In addition as people get older, more and more of them will have their family members die off.

It can be tough when you don’t want to date again and also don’t really want to advertise to whatever predators are out there, “Hey I’m really alone”. I think about this a lot. It annoys me that just about every widow support group is hung up on either dealing with grief or dating again instead of addressing these sorts of practical realities for those of us who don’t really feel like rushing out and finding someone else. I imagine it’s even worse for never-married people as they don’t even have the option of a widow support group.

One thing I do envy about gay people is that so many of them are estranged from their families and (in the past at least) single, they tend to form friend networks and kind of look out for each other. Us heterosexuals should do more of that.


Yep - case in point over here. Trusting my family to have my interests at heart in a crisis would be foolish. I’m doing somewhat ok at building a network, but it’s hard because of how much young people move around nowadays. I don’t have a lot of local people.


That’s awful. So you are saying that single unmarried people are useless once they get old and cannot take care of themselves? that is really a very unchristian way to view it. Whether people can support themselves physically or not they are of great use to God. It is down to the society and the family to care for these people. ‘Having there own problems and being grown up’ are no excuse not to care for ones family. That is shocking that people could think that. We are Christians and all children of God with that so we should care for each other whether we know each other or not, so our families should not be left out in the cold just because we can’t be bothered… whatever is society coming too. That is a terrible reason to marry and likely to end in trouble. I think these so called Catholics need to get their Bibles out and get reading!! and get on their knees for some much needed prayer time. God bless them


joseie didn’t say they were “useless”, rather he is describing, realistically, what tends to happen.


Right Tis_.Yes I was only telling the factual position as personally seen by me and not a theoretical position which should have been there in a true christian environment.Hope that our attitude and approach towards such people who bring a lot of love and bonding in the family may change for good.I am sorry if my straight forward view about the condition of such people as time passes,hurt anybody.


The more cynical side of me thinks that in this society euthanasia will be the answer for all the elderly who have no one to care for them.

I also won’t be surprised if it’s all done in the name of compassion. :roll_eyes:


As long as they can get money out of the old person in the form of Medicare coverage or private funds, they won’t be rushing to euthanize them.
It’s when the money and benefits run out that authorities suddenly find euthanasia attractive.

I’m personally suspicious of the death of a relative who wasn’t particularly sick and then just died all of a sudden in a not-very-good care home, but have chosen to put my concerns on the back burner so as not to upset the rest of the family, especially since I was not in a position to help with this person’s health care due to being too preoccupied with trying to look after my own mother in her last days and get over her death.


And once they got their Bibles out, they could very easily find out that all these so-called “terrible reasons to get married” are actually biblical!


We don’t live in the Old Testament any more, Jesus set us free by his life as well as by his death. By living a single life and choosing never to marry he gave us this choice too, which he calls some people to in this day and age too in order to imitate him.

I meant no offence to you though or others. I only meant that one should only marry if one felt a similar calling , a vocation as such to marriage and that it is terribly sad that a person should feel forced into marriage in order to be provided for, so that they can live out old age and not worry about being abandoned. I did not word it very well in my upset, I admit. apologies, I get brain fog and should really get off the computer before I am unable to phrase my replies otherwise I end up speaking poorly like that. Apologies all also for the other misunderstanding I do not have the energy to explain but it is not as you thought I said Bear and Joseie .


In Italy there is a group called the bambinocci who are adult children who never leave home, contribute nothing to the household even when employed, and expect the rest of the family to support them when both parents are gone. And get this, italian law will oblige them to!!!


The fate of the elderly is uncertain for all of us in this world where families are nuclear at best and often fractured. I have a husband and a child with autism. There is no guarantee my husband will out live me and no guarantee that my son will be in a position to support me due to his own issues. In fact, when I get elderly and infirm, it may be the upheaval and disruption of two lives and not just one. My neices are lovely girls but have no particular sense of loyalty outside of their mother-father-children group. They and all my cousins, not to mention extended family, are all over the US and the world. I’m sure I can count on some of them for yearly Christmas cards and the occasional phone call, but my day to day living, finances, etc are my problem. Single people may have no chips to use. I have one that can change to none as quickly as it takes to have a heart attack.

This is an issue that affects many, most?, elderly in a time of exponentially increased disconnection and the breakdown of traditional family and community ties. I saw it constantly when I worked in nursing homes. People were far, far less worried about dying than they were about being abandoned.:frowning::frowning::frowning::frowning::frowning:


Yes,the problem of looking after old people is already an issue now and will become very serious one in the near future.It is applicable for people both married with children and unmarried with the later category in a more disadvantages position for obvious reasons.The situation is more grave if the aged one don’t have sufficient money and has to depend upon others for survival.
No use in blaming anybody for this .Only Govt.can by a suitable and comprehensive law provide for a solution for this such as mandatory monitoring the conditions of all aged people above 70 years or so,providing for accomodation and care of those who are not properly looked after by the family or the entrusted persons etc.


A trip to your local VA Hospital will probably change your mind about that very quickly…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.