As part of the Year of the Family, the First World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly is on Sunday, July 25. The theme this year is: “I am with You always.”
Pope Francis directs his words to grandparents and all the elderly of the world in this short video. He encourages them to remember the words of Christ: “I am with you always”, especially as the world begins to emerge from the isolation of the pandemic and as people continue to experience isolation due to various circumstances in their lives as they age. He urges the elderly to take joy in their important vocation and to use their gifts for the betterment of society. As we come out of the pandemic, we have a choice in the direction we will go as a society. He prays that we learn from the tragedy that many experienced during this pandemic. The gifts of the dreams, memories and prayers of the elderly will be crucial as we move forward and work with God to build a more humane and loving world.
Some ideas for celebrating the World Day for Grandparents and the elderly in your parish
- Have a special Blessing for Grandparents and the elderly after Divine Liturgy
- Send or bring cards or small gifts of gratitude to the seniors in your parish
- Share a meal after Divine Liturgy in celebration of the elderly in your parish
- Have the children create cards or small crafts for the elderly
- Create a bulletin board with pictures and short bios of the elderly in your parish
- Feature the elderly people in your bulletins and spotlight their gifts and talents
- Support a local organization that helps the elderly either by fundraising or organizing volunteers
- Hand out Prayer cards at Divine Liturgy and pray these together after Divine Liturgy on Sunday.