At the start fo 2021, Pope Francis instituted a world day for grandparents and the elderly. The day will take place on the fourth Sunday of July each year to coincide with the feast day of St Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ grandparents.

Many elderly in our parishes are lonely, frail and need our support and we are encouraged to focus specifically on them and their needs on Sunday 25th July 2021. Pope Francis highlights the need for us to never forget our grandparents and elderly members of parish families. The Pope has always encouraged dialogue especially inter-generational dialogue which can bring a shared wisdom as conversations take place.

Speaking about grandparents and the elderly Pope Francis encouraged them to continue live close to Jesus and evangelise others. 

Vittorio Scelzo, from the Dicastry of Laity, Family and Life said

The Dicastry for the Laity, Family and Life, has emphasised Pope Francis’ priorities as; the poor, the bible and the elderly. They warn that this day is to promote the opposite of the ‘cancel’ culture which has crept into our society in recent years.The opposite of the culture of discarding is precisely pastoral care for the elderly: putting the elderly at the centre of the life of our communities every day. Not only in emergencies, not only when it is too late to realise this.”

We pray together on the first world day for grandparents and the elderly

I thank You, Lord,

for the comfort of Your presence:

even in times of loneliness,

You are my hope and my confidence,

You have been my rock and my fortress since my youth!

I thank You for having given me a family

and for having blessed me with a long life.

I thank You for moments of joy and difficulty,

for the dreams that have already come true in my life and for

those that are still ahead of me.

I thank You for this time of renewed fruitfulness to which You

call me.

Increase, O Lord, my faith,

make me a channel of your peace,

teach me to embrace those who suffer more than me,

to never stop dreaming

and to tell of your wonders to new generations.

Protect and guide Pope Francis and the Church,

that the light of the Gospel might reach the ends of the earth.

Send Your Spirit, O Lord, to renew the world,

that the storm of the pandemic might be calmed,

the poor consoled and wars ended.

Sustain me in weakness

and help me to live life to the full

in each moment that You give me,

in the certainty that you are with me every day,

even until the end of the age.