All welcome to Knock for World Day for Grandparents and Elderly on 28 July

1 Jul, 2024 | Church, News, Uncategorized, World

On Sunday 28 July, the World Day for Grandparents and Elderly will be marked with the annual national grandparents’ pilgrimage to the Shrine of our Lady of Knock in the Archdiocese of Tuam.  The chief celebrant for Mass in the Basilica at 3.00pm will be His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor.

According to Archdiocese of Tuam-based Mrs Catherine Wiley (pictured), founder of the Catholic Grandparents’ Association, “Our mission is to help grandparents pass on the faith and to keep prayer at the heart of families.  But we need help to promote our outreach!  In this vein, I am asking parishes to create awareness by displaying our poster and ensuring that a brief newsletter message is included at Masses thus enabling grandparents and elderly of all ages to be aware – in good time – of their World Day.  All our welcome to attend on 28 July for this special annual day of celebration and faith for grandparents and their grandchildren which, thank God, has come about by their perseverance, actions and prayers.  The ceremony will be livestreamed on

“My call to action for parishes is a request to include in newsletters this short message:  ‘All generations are welcome to the Basilica of Our Lady in Knock on Sunday 28 July for the annual World Day for Grandparents and Elderly.  At the gathering Lady of Knock will be sung by Dana; Anointing of the Sick will take place at 2.30pm; and Mass will be celebrated by Papal Nuncio Archbishop Montemayor at 3.00pm which will be followed by the Rosary Procession.’”

In 2021, Pope Francis announced the establishment of a World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly to be celebrated by the Universal Church every year on the fourth Sunday of July, the Sunday closest to the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ grandparents.  For this year, Pope Francis’ has written a message for the Fourth World Day for Grandparents and Elderly on the theme Do not cast me off in my old age (Ps 71:9).

According to Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, “In his 2024 message the Holy Father emphasises how – due to the crisis of communal belonging and the emergence of an increasingly individualistic mentality – the loneliness of the elderly is often not perceived as a problem.  But the Church is called to build something different, to rediscover the taste for fraternity, and to build bonds between generations.”  This year’s message and related resources are available here.

Mrs Wiley concluded, “On behalf of our members, I wish to thank most sincerely the patron of the Catholic Grandparents Association, Archbishop Francis Duffy of Tuam, for his ongoing and unstinting support.  For this Reek Sunday, also on 28 July, I am delighted that all Masses to be celebrated on the summit of Croagh Patrick will include prayer intentions for grandparents and elderly in honour of all that they have done for others through the ages, particularly for passing on the gift of Faith.  May I humbly invite climbers of the Reek to join with us in prayerful solidarity for this beautiful initiative, so that grandparents and elderly will know how much they are treasured and loved.  May God Almighty bless and reward you, and may Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of Mary, grandparents of Jesus, bless you all the days of your life.”

The Catholic Grandparents Association is a global organisation of the faithful.  An integral part of the CGA is establishing and working with grandparents’ ministries at diocesan and parish level.  These act as prayer and support groups for grandparents who have a unique vocation fostered and cherished in the spirit Saints Joachim and Anne.  For anyone interested in starting a new ministry, please email [email protected] or phone +353 (0) 85 8704722 in Ireland; +44 (1) 328 560 333 in Britain; and 888 510 5006 in the United States of America.



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