The Peace with Dementia Rosary, a book written in Covington, LA, is the foundation of a “ministry for memory impairment’ created by Catholic gerontologist Matthew Estrade. Estrade, who earned his Master’s in Gerontology at UL Monroe in 2017, wrote the book to be a family primer on dementia and a devotion to the Holy Rosary. “The care partners in my support groups would often tell me what parish they belonged to and I started looking for resources for Catholics impacted by Alzheimer’s and other types of memory impairment,” Estrade explained. After searching for books on the topic, he was not able to find exactly what he had in mind, so he felt called to write it. “I received encouraging responses when I shared the idea of a book with 20 of my favorite lessons from care partners and the research literature- all around the 20 mysteries of the Marian devotion.”
After The Peace with Dementia Rosary: Education, Intentions, Community was self-published in January 2019, Estrade knew that he could not stop there. In order to promote the book and continue educating beyond the 20 lessons of the primer, Estrade began a blog and dementia prayer wall at the book’s website www.DementiaRosary.com. The ministry has evolved to offer more education with daily videos on Facebook, weekly email newsletters for the “Dementia Rosary Community,” monthly interviews & prayer with experts in caregiving, medicine or Catholic theology, and a monthly podcast. The book has been well-received by the Catholic community, as the Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond of the Archdiocese of New Orleans granted the Imprimatur in 2019 and Estrade is a monthly radio guest on Catholic Community Radio’s Wake Up! Program. Since dementia can cause hopelessness, isolation, and suffering, this ministry for memory impairment is entering another phase where Estrade is providing workshops about dementia to clergy and laity. Estrade feels that this in-person and virtual education is crucial to bringing awareness, understanding, and practical tips on how each diocese in the world can help families impacted by dementia.