Celebrating the wisdom and love of grandparents
By Wendy Shaw
The rich and fruitful relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren is vital for a flourishing family.
That was the focus of the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. It was celebrated at parishes around the Archdiocese of Hobart on 24 July.
Pope Francis established the day in 2021 to highlight the importance of the link between generations, and of passing on the experience of life and faith to the young.
The day is marked near the feast of St Joachim and St Anne, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the grandparents of Jesus.
According to a message from the Pope issued by the Vatican: “We grandparents and elderly people have a great responsibility: to teach the women and men of our time to regard others with the same understanding and loving gaze with which we regard our own grandchildren.”
That emphasis on love and understanding was in evidence in the Launceston Catholic Parish on the eve of the second grandparents’ day. Parishioners Kathy Cuthbertson and Margaret Grossmith shared laughter and fond talk of family as they folded the parish newsletters at the parish office.
Mrs Cuthbertson has three grandchildren – Ollie, 3, Willow, 2, and Margot, 20 months – while Mrs Grossmith is looking forward to becoming a grandparent for the first time in November.
Mrs Cuthbertson and husband Marcus treasure the time they have with the grandchildren, two of whom live in Tasmania and one in Queensland.
“The joys of being a grandparent are the hugs and cuddles,” Mrs Cuthbertson said. “It is just lovely to spend time with them.”
Mrs Grossmith said she was excited about becoming a grandparent.
“We just said we would do anything to help and support them,” she added. “It is a very special relationship that grandparents have with grandchildren.”
Launceston Parish Priest Fr Mark Freeman said parishioners embraced this year’s theme, taken from Psalm 92: ‘In old age they will still bear fruit’.
“People appreciate that there is a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly and the thought, encouragement and prayer that goes with it,” he said.
He emphasised the importance of “sharing our faith in the way we love and care for those generations”.