The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Deacon Joe’s Book Launched in Dementia Prayer Week

Journeying Together: accompanying people living with dementia  a new book by our own Rev Deacon Dr Joseph Cortis and Dr Pia Matthews of St Mary’s University in Twickenham is out now – in time for Dementia Prayer Week – 12-19 March 2023.

The book is priced at just £11.95 and is available to buy or order now via St Paul’s Book Shop, Hinsley Hall –

Journeying Together offers practical information and hints which helped its authors and contributors to accompany someone with dementia. Having ‘been there’, they know that you don’t have the time, energy – or courage – to cope with unnecessary complications. The book is, therefore, a resource of accompaniment and solidarity on a journey which teaches ‘a different kind of loving’.

The voices of those involved in dementia – many of them members of Caritas Leeds’ Dementia Friendly Forum – constantly inform the book, asking challenging questions, and keeping the book grounded in the realities of living fully with dementia from diagnosis to end of life and bereavement care.

The book’s practical approach centres on the dignity, care, respect and compassion due to all human beings whatever our situation or condition, especially when we face healthcare and end-of-life care decisions.

Rooted in the experiences of people living with dementia, carers, professionals, and the experience of developing a dementia friendly diocese, Journeying Together offers a practical, ethical, legal, and spiritual guide to help people live well with dementia and to encourage the growth of dementia friendly communities.

By charting some of the ups and downs and lessons learned on this journey together we hope Journeying Together will become a useful practical resource for families, professional carers, clergy and religious, parishes, dioceses, and other communities who are seeking to become dementia friendly.

About the authors:

Rev Deacon Dr Joseph Cortis is a Permanent Deacon based in the Leeds Cathedral Parish and the founder and coordinator of Caritas Leeds. He leads on a number of initiatives within the ethos of a non-service provider diocesan Caritas regarding the criminal justice system, the challenging areas of disabilities, dementia, refugees and asylum seekers, youth leadership and awareness of Catholic Social Teaching. He had a 40 year career in healthcare including over 25 years as a senior lecturer at the School of Healthcare (part of the Faculty of Medicine and Health -University of Leeds). This included teaching, administration, staff management, student support, supervision of students’ research projects at different academic levels, researcher, quality assurance work involving other universities and professional bodies and published a number of academic papers. He had periods of Chairing the Dewsbury and District Community Health Council, Chair of Governors of a Leeds Diocese Secondary School and Chair of one of the five Diocesan Educational Academy Trusts. He is a Trustee of Catholic Care, Growing Old Gracefully, the Council of Christians on Ageing and Leeds Church Institute. Deacon Joe is married with two children. His daughter, Lucy Marie Antonia Cortis is a solicitor and has contributed a chapter to Journeying Together.

Dr Pia Matthews is a senior lecturer at St Mary’s University Twickenham and Allen Hall Seminary, Chelsea. She is also a faculty member of the Mater Ecclesiae College. Pia teaches on the MA Bioethics and Medical Law programme at St Mary’s. She also lectures in philosophy, theology, Catholic social teaching, marriage, bioethics and medical law. Pia’s research interests include the vocation, contribution and spirituality of people with disabilities, particularly profound intellectual disability, and of people living with dementia, as well as elderly care and care of the dying. In 2015 Pope Francis appointed Pia as an expert to the XIV Ordinary General Assembly Synod of Bishops. Pia has written extensively on disability and theological and philosophical anthropology. She is married with children and grandchildren.

The book may also be purchased directly from Redemptorist Publications: