Caceres to Celebrate the World Day for Grandparents and Elderly
Pope Francis announced that the World Day for the Grandparents and the Elderly will take place annually on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the feast of the grandparents of Jesus, Saints Joachim and Anne. On July 25, all masses will be intended for our grandparents and elderly.
Fr. William Santiago, Director of the Family Ministry of Caceres said that there will be a recollection of grandparents with Bishop Rex Andrew Alarcon of Daet. Fr Anthony Imperial will say mass with the participants.
All parishes are also expected to have a special blessing for all grandparents during the sunday mass.
The Pope’s decision to hold a World Day for Grandparents and Older People has come at a time marked by a pandemic and by the suffering of our older generations in recent months in every part of the world. Reports of elderly people having to die alone and then not even being given a funeral, have been a cause of deep pain to the Church. It is one of the crosses of our time that was rightly brought to mind during the Way of the Cross with the Pope on Good Friday this year: “People jumped out of the ambulance dressed like astronauts, wearing protective suits, gloves, masks and face shields. They took away my grandfather who had been having difficulty breathing. That was the last time that I saw my grandfather. He died a few days later in hospital. I think of how lonely he must have felt. I could not be near him physically to say goodbye and to comfort him”.
To be unable to be close to those who suffer is at odds with a Christian’s calling to show compassion. This World Day is an opportunity to reaffirm that the Church can never remain distant from those who carry a cross. The theme chosen by the Holy Father, “I am with you always”, expresses clearly that, during the pandemic and in the better times that will hopefully follow, every ecclesial community wishes to be with the elderly always.
The first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly will be celebrated in circumstances in which it will still not be possible in many countries for the elderly to physically attend Mass.
TIME TO VISIT OUR ELDERLY
In order for the message of closeness and consolation to reach everyone on this World Day − even those who are most isolated − we ask people to visit their grandparents and the elderly living alone in their community and to give them the Holy Father’s message.
A. A visit is a tangible sign of a Church of outreach. At a time of social distancing because of the pandemic, a visit shows that there is a way of being close to older people while still observing safety measures.
B. A visit is a personal choice to arise and go in haste to others (cf. Lk 1:39), just as Mary did when she visited her elderly cousin Elizabeth.
C. A visit is an opportunity for a grandchild to say to his or her grandparent and for a young person to say to an elderly person they are visiting, “I am with you always”.
D. A visit can be an opportunity to bring a gift, such as a flower, and to read the World Day prayer together.
E. A visit can also be an occasion to offer the elderly, especially those who have not left their homes for a long time, an opportunity to receive the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist.
E. A visit to an older person living alone is one of the ways of obtaining a Plenary Indulgence granted on the occasion of this World Day.