World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
Pope Francis has instituted “World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly,” to be celebrated the fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast day of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus. He established this day because “grandparents are often forgotten, and we forget this wealth of preserving roots and passing on” what the elderly have received. This year, the first celebration, will be on Sunday, July 25.
In his letter, Pope Francis says, “‘I am with you always’ (Mt 28:20) are also the words that I, as Bishop of Rome and an elderly person like yourselves, would like to address to you on this first World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly. The whole Church is close to you – to us – and cares about you, loves you and does not want to leave you alone!”
Here at Holy Family Home, Residents are being invited to attend Mass in the Chapel on Sunday, July 25, as well as to be present in the Chapel for Holy Hour. Those who are unable to attend in person will be asked to unite themselves spiritually to the sacred liturgies of the day.
The “World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly” is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to:
– Remember the special roles our grandparents and elderly friends play(ed) in our lives and their help and influence in guiding and forming us;
– Pray for our grandparents and the elderly, both living and deceased;
– Visit or call them, to let them know that you are with them and that they matter;
– Obtain a plenary indulgence, granted to those who attend a Mass or other celebration for the day, “devote adequate time to actually or virtually visiting their elderly brothers and sisters in need or in difficulty” or join in prayers for the elderly on July, as long as they fulfill the usual requirements of also going to confession, receiving the Eucharist and praying for the intentions of the pope. The indulgence is also available to “the elderly sick and all those who, unable to leave their homes for a serious reason, will unite themselves spiritually to the sacred functions of the world day, offering to the merciful God their prayers, pains or sufferings of their lives.”
We asked some Residents to share with us some reflections of being a grandparent.
Rita F. is 95 and the proud mother of 9 children and grandmother of 12. She says the best part of being a grandmother is having the delight of watching them grow up without all the work that comes with parenting. Her children and grandchildren are all good and caring and very faithful in keeping in touch with her, particularly during the pandemic when they would have family zoom calls with her. She prays every day for them.
Helen O. says, “It’s wonderful being a 100 year old grandmom. The best part is having so many to love and being loved by them!” Helen has three children, eight grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren, with another on the way.
Sr. Helen M., the baby in the five generation photo below, fondly remembers her paternal grandmother taking her to church: “I fell in love with God and the Church because of her.” Sunday rides with her grandparents is another one of her cherished memories.
We have links to several items related to this first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. Please share these with other family members and friends, young and old:
– Pope Francis’ message for the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
– Prayer for the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly
– Coloring pages with quotes from Pope Francis
We ask that you remember our Residents in your prayers, just as you are remembered in our prayers. May God bless you and your elderly relatives and friends.
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