U.S. BISHOPS CALL FOR CELEBRATION OF "GRANDPARENTS' DAY"
Will Be Observed on July 26, Feast of Ss. Joachim and Anne
WASHINGTON, JULY 14 (ZENIT.org).- Grandparents play a very important part in
society and the Church. Therefore, in order to highlight this truth, the U.S. Church
has called on the faithful to celebrate July 26, the feast of Ss. Joachim and Anne,
Mary's parents and Jesus' grandparents, with special solemnity.
"Grandparents can be a sign of stability in a world of constant change. They often
given youngsters time and attention, and encourage them to flower with new
talents. Their example of firmness of faith can inspire younger members of the
family to make good decisions in life," explained Sheila Garcia, head of the U.S.
Episcopal Conference's Office for the Family, Laity, Women, and Youth.
The U.S. bishops have written a document for the elderly entitled, "Blessings of
Age" in which they describe the joy of being grandparents. The bishops also quote John Paul II's conviction that
the presence of grandparents in the family can help to avoid the division between
generations so characteristic of present-day society.
Sometimes, the role of grandparents in the family is irreplaceable. According to
"Blessings of Age," "nearly 6% of U.S. children, or 3.9 million, lived in a household
headed by a grandparent in 1997, while no parent was present for 1.3 million
The Jubilee of the "Third Age" -- the elderly -- will be held in Rome on September
17. In the United States, the celebration will take place the following week, on
September 24. The Pontifical Council for the Laity is preparing a congress in Rome
for this date entitled, "The Gift of a Long Life: Responsibility and Hope."