This year, Pope Francis has inaugurated the celebration of a World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. The observance is on the fourth Sunday of July, close to the liturgical memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus. This year it falls on July 25.
The Holy Father has said: “There is no retirement age from the work of proclaiming the Gospel and handing down traditions to your grandchildren. You just need to set out and undertake something new.”
The Catholic News asked a few grandparents in the Archdiocese: How have you proclaimed the gospel and handed down tradition to your grandchildren?
Sharon Romain, is an active member of Couples for Christ and the Catholic Charismatic ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Maraval. She said: “I’ve passed on my faith to my grandchildren by encouraging them to read the scriptures and then have a discussion on what they understand from it. One particular verse is John 14:14–15, “if you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
I also explain to them how important it is to recite the rosary and tell them of all the many miracles Jesus has done in my life and that you have a friend in Him because He never fails and will always be there and keep their eyes and heart on Him.”
Viki and Franklyn Polidore are members of the Santa Rosa Heights RC community. Married for 53 years, Viki is a Eucharistic Minister and Franklyn, a lay minister.
Franklyn: “We talk to them all the time, sometimes we do the weekend readings (we have not done in quite some time since the Covid). We have ten grands, one great grand. The first four are boys and every Saturday they used to come and do the readings, but they are kind of big now. We have twin granddaughters, Alyssia and Anya. Alyssia has her own lectern, and she wants to preach after she has read but she preaches very contrary (laughs).”
Viki: “They are all involved in church. Brandon and Stephan are musicians in the choir, Alyssia, Anya and Nathan are altar servers. They live just down the street from us; they come for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning.”
Marylyn and Denis Sue-Hong, Santa Rosa Parish, Arima. They are the coordinators of the parish’s Family Life Unit and prepare parents for infant Baptism.
Marylyn: “We teach them basic prayers of the Catholic religion, we teach them about going to church, we try to teach them the right from the wrong, good manners, there is a Jesus, a God. We teach them the rosary…we hope they will follow the Catholic tradition and religion.”
Denis: “I think we try to pass on by example what we say and do, in the little things we say and do as we drive the car, listen to TV, things like that.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Fr Wilfred John, priest, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, San Fernando: “I am a widower priest, blessed with three children and five grandchildren. Their names are Joshua (22), Kylon (12), Tessanne (10), Jaedyn (8) and Dante (5). It was a great privilege for me to baptise four of my grandchildren and bring them to the fold of the Church. I pray every day that they will grow up, remain within, and affirm their membership in Christ’s holy Church.
I realise that I have to redouble my efforts and my prayers for my children and my grandchildren. Kylon is the only grandchild who lives close to me; the others live much further away. My effort at evangelising has become a shared effort because I depend so much on the input of their parents.
My prayer for my grandchildren is that they will be able to walk the path of steadfastness in the faith as they face challenges which I never had to face. My recourse is constant intercession in prayer, placing them day and night under the constant protective care of Our Lady, asking her to keep them under her blue mantle and in the fold of Jesus.”