A Catholic Monthly Magazine

World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly – 25 July 2021

Catherine Wiley founded the Catholic Grandparents Association (CGA) in the early 2000s. At that time, she and her husband Stewart were living near the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk, England. They now live in Ireland, in the Archdiocese of Tuam, near the Irish National Shrine of Our Lady at Knock.

GGA’s mission is “To help Grandparents pass on the faith and keep prayer in the heart of family life.”

In regard to the Pope’s institution of the World Day of Prayer, Mrs Wiley said, “We are overjoyed that our Holy Father has decided to institute a Church-wide celebration of a ‘World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly.’ For this new celebration to be marked so close to the Feast Day of Sts Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus, is a source of great joy for all of us in the CGA.

Stewart and Catherine Wiley

“The CGA has been at the forefront in campaigning for a greater recognition of grandparents for their role and vocation in passing on their faith to the next generation. Today’s announcement of a new Church-wide celebration for grandparents and the elderly comes in answer to our prayerful request to the Holy Father Pope Francis.

“Grandparents and the elderly are often overlooked, but this new day in the Universal Church calendar is a momentous achievement for grandparents and the elderly and will hopefully reassure them that they are loved and that they are needed.

“I firmly believe that grandparents and the elderly are needed now more than ever, not just as teachers of the faith, but as fountains of wisdom and sensibility – qualities which our world needs these days.

“Today is a day of joy and hope for all of us in the CGA and a day to give thanks to our Holy Father, who has a great love for grandparents and the elderly, and who often talks about his own grandmother Rosa. We look forward to being part of this new annual celebration so that the charisms of grandparents and the elderly are brought to the fore and passed on to the next generation.” 

Prayer for Grandparents

Lord Jesus, you were born
of the Virgin Mary,
the daughter of Sts Joachim and Anne.
Look with love on grandparents
the world over.
Protect them!
They are a source of enrichment for families, for the Church
and for all of society.
Support them!
As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardians of noble domestic ideals,
and living treasuries
of sound religious traditions.
Make them teachers
of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations
the fruits of their mature human and spiritual experience. Amen.

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