Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam has welcomed the announcement by Pope Francis of the establishment of a World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly. The announcement was made by Pope Francis on Sunday 31 January.
Archbishop Neary said, “As patron of the Catholic Grandparents Association, I warmly welcome the Holy Father’s announcement of his decision to establish a World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly which will be celebrated by the Universal Church every year on the fourth Sunday of July, the Sunday closest to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ grandparents. This announcement comes at the end of a long process of engagement and discussion between the Catholic Grandparents Association and the Holy See, and I thank the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, for his support and assistance.
“The Catholic Grandparents Association exists to encourage and assist grandparents to pass on the Catholic faith to their grandchildren and to keep prayer at the heart of family life. It does this by organising the annual Grandparents’ Pilgrimage to Knock, by organising grandchildren’s prayer appeals, by organising Grandparents’ Day in schools, and by promoting Pope Benedict XVI’s Universal Prayer for Grandparents.”
Archbishop Neary said, “Through this most welcome initiative, Pope Francis is highlighting the very important role grandparents and elders play in passing the faith to upcoming generations of children. Grandparents and others family members of their generation, proudly attend all the important sacramental milestones in the young person’s life – Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. It is always most edifying to meet the three generations on these occasions and to share in the family’s pride and joy. Grandparents are often very generous with their time and wisdom, they gently and lovingly teach their grandchildren the well-known prayers, and share the gift of faith in a very edifying way.”
The first World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly will take place on Sunday 25 July 2021.